It’s Garlic Diggin’ Time (plus another garden pest)

Back in October, I decided to try my hand at planting garlic.

I ordered my organic garlic from Renee’s Garden, prepared my bed and planted the cloves about 4-5 inches apart.

Then I ignored them until last Sunday.

Before we left on vacation, the tops were just beginning to turn brown.  We had an excessive heat wave while we were gone and when we returned, all the leaves were brown.

I got my spade from the barn and began to dig.

garlic-silverskin

Silverskin

This variety is Silverskin (Allium sativum) and it produces a regular sized bulb (like you see in the grocery store.)  This variety keeps for a long time (9-12 months) which is one of the reasons I decided to plant this particular variety.  It also said it was a good choice for beginners because of its reliability to produce and that sounded just right for me.

The other variety I grew was Elephant garlic.

elephant garlic

Elephant garlic is not a true garlic, its  species is Allium ampeloprasum and is more closely related to the leek family.  One clove could be the size of one whole head of Silverskin.

elephant garlic

It is said to have a less intense flavor than the Silverskins.  I’ve been told the best way to eat these is to roast the whole head and use for garlic bread or bruschetta.  If anyone out there has grown elephant garlic, I would appreciate knowing your favorite way to use it.

But, before I can eat them, they need to cure for at least 3 weeks.  I would like to hang them in the rafters of the garden shed, so that is my project for the weekend.   I am open to suggestions on this also.

Also when we returned, I found one of my tomato  plants looking like this.

tomato, tomato hornworm

Stripped of all leaves

tomato plant, tomato hornworm

which could only mean one thing

tomato hornworm

Tomato Hornworm!

These things can get very big, but they blend in so well with the plant, I bet I looked at this one 3 or 4 times before I actually saw it.

As big as this one was, I’m sure he’s the one that destroyed my plant.  But upon further inspection, Allen (who had the eye to see them),  found several more that I had overlooked.  Good job, Al!

If left alone, they will morph into a five-spotted hawk moth.

hawkmoth

To the best of my ability though, and with the help of Allen’s good eyes, those worms will not make it to adulthood but will become special treats for the chickens.

Bon appetit, chickies!

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About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Arkansas, Bugs, Chickens, Garden, Garlic, Vegetables and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to It’s Garlic Diggin’ Time (plus another garden pest)

  1. Get those hornworms…yuck! I cure my garlic on newspaper in the garage. It is perfect in about 4 weeks. I plant hardneck Tuscon and Siberian garlic. Siberian is new to us but Tuscan lasts a long time (about a year if we didn’t eat it all before a year) in storage in our bin in the pantry.

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  2. I’ve never grown garlic, let us know how you like it when you cook with it! Too bad about the hornworms, they are a pestilence. Glad they got their just deserts (as dessert for the chickens).

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  3. The Dancing Rider says:

    Ick. That hornworm is huge. I grew tomatoes once, and once only. I think the hornworms must just come with the plant….. Yay for the chickens (though that moth is very pretty)

    Grew garlic once (at the same time). Can’t remember how I cured it, but I know we ate it.

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  4. I am most envious of your garlic. It’s very difficult to grow in my neck of the woods and I despise those crusty, dried up bulbs at the grocery store.

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  5. I pulled my softneck garlic today, and it looks like the hardneck will come out in a week or so. If you like the flavor of the silverskin, save enough cloves from this harvest to replant in the fall. Use the biggest and the fattest, and in a few years you’ll have a crop that grows perfectly in your conditions…I’ve been replanting for 8 years (I think) and they’re the size of my fist, even in a bad year!

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    • Good to know. Thanks! Do you just store them and use them for cooking or do you mince and freeze? I’m going to have quite a bit and I plan on saving several for next year. So it’s best to plant in the same spot year after year?

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      • I store them in the basement for cooking…by this time of year, there are some that are shriveled and unusable, but since I added a bit of softneck to the mix a couple of years ago, we make it all the way through from one harvest to the next…
        As long as you didn’t have any pest problems in the spot where you grew them this year, you can plant there again in the fall. Just add your compost now, and let it rest until October.
        Poke around in the archives on my blog – there’s lots of stuff about garlic from past years 🙂

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      • I will. Thank you!

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  6. Kevin says:

    I know I should have planted garlic! Good luck with your tomato pests.

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