Gotta Garden

Monday, April 23, 2012

First of the Garlic

With this early-everything Spring we have going on, it's no surprise that the early garlic is indeed early.  Chinese Pink is below in its just-out-of-the-garden stage and then cleaned up.

A couple days ago, I dug one to see and thought it was near perfect.  It's currently in use in the kitchen and will be joined by a cleaned up one.  The rest are already downstairs resting on newspaper to finish drying.

There are two other very early varieties that I need to keep checking on, but I think they can wait a bit longer.  Hope I'm not wrong, as I would love to duplicate my success.  

In an ordinary year (whatever that really is), I would probably expect Chinese Pink to be ready in May.  It seems to be moving along the same track as everything else, a good two-three weeks early.

This is my first attempt with all the new google-ness.  I'm not sure what I think.  These things are never intuitive to me.  

While it may seem like I've forgotten all the other spring goodies, I really haven't.  Life refuses to stand still (ha) fact, it seems to have hit warp speed and I'm still shuffling along, seemingly always in a catch up sort of phase.   And, gosh there's so much to catch up on.  

And what we really want to know is that nope, no daylily scapes yet.  Although, I'm confident they'll be early, too.  I do have two with scapes, but they are Florida imports, doing their Florida thing.  Today, they're probably wondering where the heck they are with this cold front going through (no snow, though...thankfully).  

Daylily season will be different here this year.  We can credit Rudy.  The backyard is now The Kingdom of Rudy.  Everything there (and there's a lot) is at risk as he does his Rudy-thing (digging, sitting, eating, etc.).  

(Rudy, after a particularly vigorous digging session...and no, he cannot come inside looking like that.)

After I picked myself up from the shock of it all (so many wonderful years of wonderful dogs who were...wonderful), I am adjusting to the new reality.  What will be and all that.  Life moves on.  

To say it has been an adjustment is an understatement.  If I were to be totally honest (what fun is that), I would admit that the garden was way too big (for me and for this lot).  I guess I just thought I would have more say in things (grin).  However, it is a race to save things and find spots for things and well, I move at a slower pace than I seem to recall...or something.

So...we'll see what shakes out.  Rudy needs a backyard, a regular backyard.  He won't get exactly that for a while, but with his efforts and mine, over time it will become the total Rudy Zone.  

Stay tuned...what will survive...what will get moved...what has already disappeared...these questions and more...might get answered...maybe...(kidding, sort of)...



Randy Emmitt said...

Pretty early for garlic picking. We have garlic that came from the food co-op, it is huge some stalks are an inch thick. Not Elephant garlic either.

Lona said...

Your garlic is early and looks good. My family loves garlic and spicy foods but I am afraid I am not normal. LOL! The doggie looks like it was having a good time. LOL! The lilies are growing fast this year too and I am afraid this year our local Lily Fest will be lacking blooms since they look like they will all be blooming earlier. I look forward to seeing your lilies.

Gotta Garden said...

Oh, that's great, Randy! Lucky you, to have a food co-op. I think I leave in a natural foods

Thanks, Lona. I'm going to try to be better (this year) and maybe almost kinda keep I found my first scapes today (on a daylily grown here) on Before, a new one from Jim Murphy. Exciting!

Home Grown said...

Your harvest looks great! I have a question, we just had heavy rain adn some of my garlic if falling over. It won't be ready until July,what do I do? This is my first time planting garlic. My first time onions are doing the same also.
Please help,

Gotta Garden said...

(eek, it's always bad to go back and look and see a typo...'leave' should be live...)

Hi Home Grown: Thanks! What kind of garlic are you growing? I'm asking because garlic can be early, mid or late. Don't forget this year is quite odd for most of us, so July might not be July, if you get my drift.

Thing is, I've not had good success with garlic once it falls over, whatever the reason. I have some now (some of the later ones) that my puppy jumped on and well, they're probably done because of that. It used to be the cats lying on the garlic...finally got them to stop, I hope...and something else comes up!. Ha. It's always something.

I think with the garlic it's probably because once the stem is compromised (bent or damaged), the plant suffers, since it's a single stem plant. Usually, by the time garlic falls over of its own accord, it's probably a bit too late and you're wishing you had harvested it earlier.

Also, is it hardneck or softneck? Hardneck produces a hard flower stalk, while softneck won't (hence the names).

If the leaves are starting to yellow, you might not have a choice. If they are, dig up one and see what you have. You might be surprised. A pretty good indicator is the diameter of the stem/stalk. The bigger the stem, the bigger the head.

Often, garlic grown at home is smaller than grocery store garlic, although much more tasty and juicy. And, even if it is small, you can still use it and enjoy it.

For replanting, though, you want to plant the largest cloves you can. So, if this garlic is small, you might want to replace your seed garlic for this fall. And, maybe try a different variety.

It's a learning process figuring out which varieties do well where you are.

As to onions, I don't often plant them although I did this year. I, too, have some falling over because, in my case, I'm pretty sure I planted them too shallow. They were sort of a last minute whim. But, falling over doesn't seem to bother them, they are still growing. I harvested one and used it. It was fine, even though small (grin)...although larger than a typical green onion.

I find gardening is always about learning. Just when you think you know pretty much how to grow a particular thing, it throws something new at you! Guess that keeps things interesting and us humble.

Good luck with your garlic and onions. I hope you're able to enjoy them, no matter the size.

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