It's That Time Again

It’s that time of year when we are all cleaning up our gardens and preparing for colder weather.  But, if you would like to have garlic next summer, it’s time to think about planting it now.

elephant garlic
elephant garlic harvest 2014
silverskin garlic
silverskin garlic harvest 2014
I’m going to be lazy today and reblog the post I did last year.  Sorry for the rerun but I’m pooped and headed to bed.
Nighty night,
B
 
Planting Garlic
Last fall was my first time to plant garlic.  It was so easy.  I picked a spot in the garden, made a raised area with the soil, planted and mulched.
Then I left it alone until summer.
garlic-silverskin
silverskin garlic
You can’t get much easier than that.
Garlic is a bulb full of separate cloves that pull apart when you are ready to use.  It’s best to leave these cloves intact until you are ready to plant.  When you have everything ready to plant, pull off the cloves and plant them about 3-4  inches deep (with pointy end up) and about 6-7 inches apart.
elephant garlic
elephant garlic clove with pointy end to the side. That’s wrong and I fixed it before I covered it up.
Cover the cloves with soil and then mulch.  I use a 3-4 inch layer of straw over the entire bed.  I did not add any fertilizer, but I did add compost and aged rabbit manure after I harvested the bulbs in June.
I’ve been told it’s best to fertilize in the spring, but I didn’t even think about it and they did fine.  I really can’t say enough about compost though.  I have 2 big bins going all the time.  I believe it is so much better for your garden than store-bought fertilizer plus you are composting things that would otherwise end up in a landfill or down your drain.  (stepping down off soap box now)
Back to garlic.  I chose the variety ‘silverskin’ because of my location (south) and their ability to store for longer periods of time (up to a year).
I also wanted to try elephant garlic.  Even though the bulb is HUGE,
elephant garlic
it has a very mild flavor and is great roasted and mixed with butter for French bread or mashed potatoes.
One clove of elephant garlic can be as large as one bulb of silverskin.
elephant garlic
one clove of elephant garlic
They are planted the same way as the silverskin.
If you are thinking about growing garlic, be sure and get your garlic from a reputable grower.  I got mine from Renee’s garden, but check with your favorite grower so see what they carry.  Read about the different varieties to see what grows well in your area.  I would avoid planting garlic from the grocery store because you just don’t know where it came from or what was sprayed on it.  Just my opinion though.
elephant garlic
elephant garlic
I am using the garlic I dug this summer to plant this fall.
I also doubled the size of the beds.
I like garlic that much.
Peace to all,
Brenda
“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”  author unknown
I am linking up with the Chicken Chick this week for her weekly blog.  If you have any questions about chickens, she’s the chick to ask.