Your garlic has been growing well, perhaps looks a bit weedy like this patch either because of weather, life, or both. But when is the right time to harvest it?
Garlic has layered leaves that wrap around the stem and the head of garlic. They receive the sunlight which is converted to the energy the plant needs to grow. As the plant ages, these leaves turn brown and die. The part that is around the head of garlic becomes the wrappers for the stored garlic.
The leaves will die from the bottom up. So we look for the plant to start browning, but to also still have 3-4 leaves at the top that are still green. Then we dig them up, shake off the dirt, and prep them to cure.
We have bunched the garlic, hung the bunches in a dark place, and let them cure for a month or so. But we have also found that we can cut the tops off and let them cure in the dark for a month or so on these bread trays. The outer wrappings will easily come off and the inner ones will protect the garlic through the winter.