Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bringing in the Garlic

This year, I decided to squish leek moth but not harvest early to see how much, if any, damage was done to the cloves. The plants were dying back so I dug them up.

A palmful of garlic goodness

About a third of the plants were entirely dry and yellow - keep in mind we are in a now Level II drought so I've noticed things maturing faster than usual. The rest were dying back.

My beds were dotted with grassy weeds tossed onto the sides during harvesting as you can see here.

A couple plants escaped having their would be reproductive heads - scapes - ripped off. This can lead to smaller bulbs as the plant diverts energy to bulbil production. In this case, there was a marked difference but this is not a year of plenty.

Scapes full of little bitty bulbils or mini cloves. You can use these to start a whole colony of garlics if you wish. 

The bulbs were given a gentle rub to remove dirt before their stems and roots were trimmed. These are hard necks so I don't braid them. You can still get fancy with them but I haven't bothered.

Hard working kids.

There were two plots nearby each other. The first were garlic that was in its second year of adaption here. What varieties these were is lost in time as they came from my old garden but I seem to have a preference for those with a red hue to their skins.

Garlic variety: mystery mixed.

The second garlic patch was in its first year of adaption, ie. I bought the bulbs last summer.

Garlic varieties: Music - big white ones and um? well... more mystery mixed!

One side of the patch had a lot of damage that I've never seen before. It doesn't seem to come down from the scape as I imagine leek moth would but from the outside. Not sure what it is.

Something's been sampling the garlic.

So now we can go back to using the heavy stuff - garlic cloves - for cooking after a month or so of subsisting on garlic scapes - by no means a hardship. Some of these previous bulbs will have to be put aside for planting. I like to put about sixty cloves in the ground so that'd be about twelve. Normally, the advice is to plant the biggest cloves from the best bulbs. These are planted in the fall. For more on how to grow garlic, see Paul Pospisil's article from Boundary Garlic Farm.

1 comment:

Robert Brenchley said...

Would you like some of my rain?