Monday, May 28, 2012

How my garden grows - Garlic

Last summer I planted garlic in the spring.  I was disappointed when they never emerged.  Later in the summer I found some bulbs that had gotten lost in the fridge and had started to sprout.  As an experiment, I planted in the garden to see what would happen.  Again with the disappointment . . . not much.

But this spring when we went to the garden to get it ready for the planting season I was surprised and pleased to find that the garlic had not only survived the winter but was thriving!  Woot!

Overwintering garlic is a great way to keep a crop of garlic going from year to year.  Ideally, plant the garlic bulbs late in the season before the ground freezes.  Plant the cloves flat side down, pointy end up.

Come spring just leave them alone, water them and let them grow.

Besides being pungent and delicious after the harvest, garlic is beneficial to other veggies in your garden.     Garlic discourages aphids, fleas, Japanese beetles, and spider mites.  But attract good insects like ladybugs.

Scapes are the curling part of the plant right before it flowers. Cut them off before they flower to force more energy into the bulbs.  But don’t throw the scapes away . . . use them in recipes to add mild, garlic flavor. 

Later in the season, when the leaves start to brown, you should stop watering them.   When the stems start to wither but are still a little bit green your garlic is ready to harvest.  

Enjoy your home grown garlic, but be sure to save some of the garlic bulbs to replant for overwintering. 

1 comment:

  1. When the stems start to wither but are still a little bit green your garlic is ready to harvest.

    Thank you for post..

    Pike Nurseries