Playback speed
Share post
Share post at current time

Paid episode

The full episode is only available to paid subscribers of Kate McDermott's Newsletter

#102: Garlic Growing Part 2

After harvesting and drying, it's time to trim the garlic, plus easy growing instructions AND a bonus recipe for roasted garlic and how to use it.

Two weeks ago I harvest and clean the garlic crop and set it to dry. Hardneck garlic is not braidable so the next step is to clip the stalks/stems off. Heads that have damaged cloves may get moldy so I set them aside to use immediately or discard. I store the clipped crop uncovered in boxes, baskets, or mesh onion bags that I save from the store to let the heads breathe.

I don’t compost garlic as it’s got something in it that isn’t good for dogs and I don’t want another trip to the emergency vet (90 minutes from here) when GP ate something that was toxic to her when I was turning compost and I almost lost her.1

Some of the garlic crop (photo by me)

I don’t know how many head I harvest but it is well over two-hundred…all propagated from one head that I planted six years ago. I don’t recall the name of the hardneck variety so I call it John’s Big Red—named after Duncan’s dad who gave it to me. If stored in a dry place, this harvest will see me and Duncan & Olivia through until about May…plus there is enough to share with friends.

At a potluck last night, I gave out some heads with my easy-peasy instructions for planting and growing to friends so they can propagate their own crops, too.



  1. Plant the biggest and best cloves in October to the depth of 2.5 times the height of the clove. (Ex. If the clove is 1” tall, you would plant it to a depth of 2.5”.) Plant the pointy end up and the root end down.

  2. Harvest when nearly all the leaves are brown usually late July or early August.


Fall rain, winter snow, and spring rain pretty much take care of the irrigation it needs, but I do water once or twice if needed. Two to four weeks before harvesting, I cut back on all watering.


From: Home Cooking with Kate McDermott
If you missed getting this book when it first came out in 2018, it’s full of the recipes I made for my family for decades, plus there are lots of stories for you, too. This amazing review of Home Cooking brought tears to my eyes when I first read it and still does today.

Now on to the recipe…

Roasted Garlic from Home Cooking with Kate McDermott (Photo Credit: Andrew Scrivani)

The full video is for paid subscribers

Hearth, Shelter, Grow
My home and garden.
Kate McDermott