What’s up and OUT this week is: garlic!
I got some seed garlic from Azure Standard last fall, planted it near the end of October, if memory serves (maybe it was even later, as it was quite a warm fall) and then thrilled when, after anticipating, searching, scratching away the newly-warmed ground this spring, I saw the first green shoots coming up!
I’ve never tried to grow garlic before, but I think it will be on my ‘must grow’ list henceforth. Reason #1: It gives some hope the the loooong winter (ok, so this winter was seasonably warm, but still – it gets to seem long!) and something ‘to do’ in the garden just when the season of growing is wrapping up, and Reason #2: Its incredibly easy. I suppose its possible it was just beginner’s luck, but man – awesome!
There are whole farms devoted to selling and developing seed garlic! And, judging from the blogs and message boards I scanned as I was deciding between the couple of varieties offered, people are REALLY into it. Like, scary into it.
And I thought *I* liked garlic!
Anywho, garlic should be harvested when the bottom 3 leaves die back and turn brittle. Harvesting too late or too early can prevent the harvested bulb from having a long shelf-life. I harvest a couple of bulbs when there were just 2 leaves that had wilted (these were planted in a different part of my garden, in a dirt mound that was left over last year.). I wondered how much difference a couple of weeks and one more wilted leave would make. I harvested the rest yesterday, and yes, a little on the early side, as I have a friend who will use the ‘garlic bed’ to plant some veggies for herself. I was delighted when I saw how much bigger the bulbs had gotten! The picture of my hand holding two bulbs shows the difference in size between the smallest and the largest that I harvested yesterday.
Successful garden experiment! Hooray!
What have you grown that was a success (or not) this year or in year’s past? How often are you able to follow through on a ‘new variety’ or ‘experiment’ urge in your garden (or life)?