Garlic typically takes about 8 to 9 months from planting to harvest. The timing can vary slightly depending on the garlic variety, climate, and planting time. Since it grows below the ground it is hard to know when the crop is mature and ready for harvest.

With garlic farming, timing is everything and for one to know when it is harvest time the answer is in the leaves.

Step by step process:

  1. Observe Leaf Colour

Each leaf above ground indicates a layer of protective paper wrapped around the bulb. While there’s no standard number of leaves that garlic should have, a reliable harvest indicator is when half the leaves have died off, and half are still green. The leaves start to die off from the bottom up. The leaves dry up and change colour to yellow also one can tell from the bulbs that have pushed themselves out of the soil and it’s easy to see whether they’ve fully matured.

  1. Assess the Bulb Size

The size of the garlic bulb is crucial factor to determine readiness for harvest. Fully matured garlic bulbs have developed to their maximum size. The individual cloves should feel plump and filled out within the bulb. Bulbs that are still small and underdeveloped may need more time to grow.

  1. Check outer Skins

As the garlic matures, the outer skin becomes drier and more papery in texture. One should be able to gently rub the skin and feel a papery layer covering the cloves. Avoid harvesting if the outer skins are still tightly wrapped and not papery.

  1. Time

The time from planting to harvest can vary depending on the garlic variety and growing conditions. On average, garlic takes about 8 to 9 months to mature. While it’s essential to wait until the garlic is fully matured do not wait for too long to harvest. Overripe garlic can start to split, and the outer skins may disintegrate, reducing the storage life and overall quality of the bulbs.


In conclusion, harvesting garlic at the right time ensures that you get the best flavor and storage potential from your crop. Once it is ready, carefully dig up the bulbs with a shovel or fork, being mindful not to damage them. After harvesting, follow the curing process to dry and prepare the garlic bulbs for long-term storage.