Garlic Harvest - Hanger Tutorial

This year was the first year I was self sufficient in garlic.  3 years ago I collected the garlic bulbils from my harvest and planted them that fall. Bulbils grow in garlic flowers. Leave some scapes to ripen and collect the bulbils in the fall when they are dry and bursting out of their husk.

The next year, those grew larger but with just a single bulb. Those went in in the fall, along with another bed of bulbils. Then last year, those first year bulbils had grown large enough to plant out in cloves and those are this year's harvest.

So every year now I have one bed for bulbils, one for small bulbs and one for cloves. No more buying planting garlic! Which is substantial as I figure I harvested at least 400 bulbs this year from those bulbils from 3 years ago. We are going to be one stinky family this year!

The last 2 years, I stored the eating garlic in baskets. By mid winter, I could see mealy bugs, and they took over and ruined them before winter was over. Ugh...

To make matters worse, if you do a web search for mealy bugs and garlic, all the hits are for how garlic repels mealy bugs. Apparently not. 

So I decided to hang them up as I did a few years ago with better success. It's just less convenient to get them from the basement and they make a mess with bits of stem, husk and leaves falling off.

I made these wire hangers this year as I had many bundles. Here's how.

First, bundle your garlic and zip tie it.  Cut the tops off close by.  I find my garlic necks way too stiff to braid.

Take a length of stiff wire. I have a bundle of these, from my hoarder parents. You'll also need pliers.  Rust is a bonus - you don't need to use ones that have been this abused.

Bend the top over by hand. This will be the hanger you can then use to hook it onto a hook or over a joist or whatever - leave the end long and straight so you can adapt it to whatever you hook it onto for storage.

Use your pliers to bed the wire sharply up.

Then bend it down again about 2 inches down and a bend to straighten it. 

Make alternating hooks like this all the way down.

Then you can push these hooks through the zip ties.

I think my bundles were a bit too big, so I didn't use all the hooks in one of them as it got too heavy.

Now these will get bent over a joist in the basement and I will leave kitchen shears with them to cut off heads as I need them.


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