By: Simon Webster | December 8, 2011
It’s best not to harvest garlic in the rain. It can lead to the development of moulds and early sprouting. And that’s just on the person doing the picking. You don’t want to know what can happen to the garlic.
It was precipitating persistently when I pulled up the last of my purple stripe garlic yesterday, but with a further week of rain forecast, I felt I had no choice but to bite the bullet and haul it out of the ground, rather than watch it stay there and rot.
Being less than organised on the weather front, I didn’t realise quite how bad the forecast was until halfway through my dinner, so it was a race against the dying of the light as I harvested in the wet, threw the buckets of garlic in the back of the ute, got up to the shed, bundled together the bulbs in bunches of 10, snipped off the roots (they can draw moisture from the air) and hung the bunches on beams and washing line, finishing the job by torchlight.
Air circulation is vital for drying garlic; luckily I have a shed with doors at both ends. But all that wet garlic was hanging there limply with not a whisper of wind in sight, surrounded by air sodden with yet more water.
So the pedestal fan has been put to use. It has a hinge that allows it to be pointed upwards, and it pans from side to side, buffeting the bunches with its breeze. Fingers crossed, it will be enough to save the day.