Gotta Garden

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Garlic





I had been feeling a bit sorry for myself as my garlic this year had taken such a hit. The cats, for some reason, decided to lay on it. Broken or bent garlic seemed to abound and I was dismayed. Last fall it was all so promising! Growing garlic is one of my gardening pleasures. There's just something about it.

For starters, it's easy. Plant it and it grows. Don't bother with small cloves. Small cloves equal small garlic heads. You could use them for garlic greens, I suppose, like green onions but with a flavor twist. It winters over wonderfully and takes off in spring. It's just so cool. You can look at it growing and pick out (sometimes!) the giant heads-to-be (fat stalks).

The hardnecks will send up a delightful scape, nicely curled. I am always torn between the conventional wisdom of cutting off the scape so that more energy is sent directly to the bulb...or leaving it on to watch the show. It will uncurl and stand straight up, sometimes taller than me, and wave in the breeze. I love them!

Then, you watch the leaves dry from the bottom up. Anticipation builds. You harvest and the smell is rich. Fresh earth and ripe garlic. Yum! If you haven't cooked with fresh garlic, oh my. Once you do, there's no going back. And, fresh garlic from your own garden is so tasty and juicy, you'll know it's something you just have to grow!

Now, you get some idea of my dismay. Cats. Can't garden with them, can't garden without them. Okay, okay, I like my cats...and they are usually the world's best cats. But, what was this??

(Somewhere among the thousands of pictures is one, I think, of Leo caught sitting in/on the garlic. If I ever locate it, I'll edit it in.)

So, yesterday while I'm in the midst of my 10 hour gardening marathon (yes, that's right and today I'm feeling it), I decided, what-the-heck. I'll just take it all out and be done with it. Those tomatoes would like to be planted (I know, I'll be harvesting tomatoes in September. It's just been one of those busy years, you know). To my surprise, some of the garlic doesn't look that bad. In fact, it looks pretty darn good. Hooray! All is not lost! Now, granted, I don't have nearly what I expected given what I planted (and I was choosy about those cloves)...but, I'm much better off than I expected. Don't you just love gardening!

Here are the results: Winners, Georgian Fire and Silver White (see below). Still, when you look on that box, not bad...not bad at all. I included a picture of the wimps. Those I'll use right away. They'll still taste great, just aren't worth replanting. And, I'll still plant garlic this fall!

(Sheeeesh. I can never figure this picture thing out. Top: wimpy small garlic; Next: Silver White; Next: Georgian Fire; Last: Other keepers, pretty decent size, just not in quantity.)

1 comment:

admin said...

I have started a gardening club at the school that I work at. Today we planted 82 garlic plants and the children had great fun. Any tips you can give me about growing garlic will be much appreciated.
Sara from farmingfriends in the UK

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