I picked the garlic yesterday because we've had a couple of weeks of dry weather - this is good because it means less chance of rot.
Anyway, some of them had bulbed ( is that even a word?) up beautifully and some just have one big bulb, and some have one small bulb, so we have a real mixture. But all in all it's a much better harvest than I was expecting, so we're pretty pleased. They're drying on our big outdoor table under the deck just now. If I remember rightly it took about 2 weeks for them to be dry enough to braid last year. So we have 2 weeks of a rather pungent garlic smell right outside our house, but it's quite nice really!
Still a bit grubby in this pic, I give them a gentle brush once they've dried a bit.
Now! The gem squash. We had a couple for dinner last night. Yum! It's so lovely to be able to grow something that you've loved for years but were never able to find the seeds for until now. Well, we learned a couple of things. Once they reach the desired size it doesn't mean they are ready! The one that was the absolute best was the one that's been the right size but has been ready on the vine for a few weeks and it had the best taste, was a bit firmer and basically was perfect! The newer ones were softer and one even fell apart! Just shows, you live and learn!
So the answer is, leave them on the vine for a while and let them harden up. The good thing is the vines are going mad so we've got a lot to practice with.