Plant garlic in the fall and harvest mid summer. But, how do you know when your garlic is ready to be harvested? You will know when there is brown on the tips and then turn over. Look at the bottom leaves. When 2 or 3 leaves start to brown and dry, it means that your garlic is ready to be harvested. Another way to tell if your garlic is ready to be harvested is to look at the state of the bottom leaves. These leaves are directly related to how the outer layer of your head of garlic. If they are dry, then the garlic is ready. Do not leave it passed this point or it will greatly reduce the life of your garlic. When you see these signed of being ready, you can harvest one just to make sure.
You can use a garden fork or hand trowel and keep it a little bit away from the garlic stem so that you do not pierce the head of garlic. Loosen up the soil around the garlic bulb. Stop watering a few days before you are going to harvest. Leave the roots and stems on and leave them out to dry. Many gardeners choose to put them in an area that is out of direct sunlight. You can place them on top of pallets so that they have air flow all around. It is important not to use water to clean the bulbs, you want to let the soil around the bulb dry out on it’s own.
For more details on harvesting both soft neck and hard neck varieties, click on the video below from Garden Answer.