Once the leaves of autumn sown garlic and shallots start to bend over and die back, it’s time to lift and dry them. Choose a warm dry day and shake off all the surplus soil. To ripen them off, hang them somewhere that is warm and dry with good air circulation - a greenhouse, a porch or a light airy shed is ideal. Alternatively you can lay them flat on an upturned box, or a piece of wire netting (so they are off the ground) in a cold frame with the lid propped open. Once they are fully dry, clean up the bulbs but don’t remove the dry stems. Instead bunch the garlic or shallots and tie them together using raffia or string, or if you are feeling creative, you can plait them together for the full professional effect.