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all full up on garlic

August 8, 2009

Tonight I dug up the garlic. Its 10-month life underground is through. The huge, russet heads are such a gift for something I feel I had no part in, except to poke cloves a few inches under right before the cold set in last October. Seeing their green shoots emerge in February was another gift entirely, of hope in a long winter.

garlic before dark

garlic before dark

We planted twice as much as last year, 60 hardneck bulbs, mostly to be able to eat more scapes. Even though we lived on this garlic scape-cannellini bean dip for weeks in June, we couldn’t eat them fast enough, and I didn’t harvest them all before they got too strong/tough. Turns out scapes store well in the fridge for several weeks, a tip to remember next year.

scapes at the end of June

scapes at the end of June

I couldn’t tell a consistent difference in size between the mature heads where scapes were left on vs. ones that were cut. But the tiny packages on sticks bobbing above all the other big-leafed greens does lend a special “summer interest.”

digging garlic

digging garlic

Only one made it this far toward a new garlic plant. Next year, it might be fun to let one or two mature and plant the bulbils. I can wait 2 years for experimental garlic as long as we keep a patch of cloves planted, for plenty of fresh green scapes each June.

garlic bulbil

garlic bulbil

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2009 12:33 pm

    your photographs are amazing. scape season seems to happen when I have my late June break from teaching.

    • August 10, 2009 7:56 pm

      Does that mean you don’t get to eat any? Maybe someone can save some for you.

  2. August 10, 2009 1:27 pm

    I may have to try growing garlic. From your photos, I can almost smell the garlic. Did you ever make it to Garden Walk Buffalo? Or were you tired from your other world travels?

    • August 10, 2009 3:42 pm

      Hi Jim, nope, I didn’t get to Buffalo, and I’m still bummed about it. We had guests arrive right after we got back, so it just got too busy. But it’s rock solid on the calendar for next year. Think I even have Cold Climate Kathy good to go. Garlic is easy. If you like cooking with it, you’ll love having your own crop.

  3. August 10, 2009 7:27 pm

    Lovely enough to earn a spot among the inedible ornamentals. The last photograph is beautiful.

    • August 10, 2009 7:55 pm

      Absolutely right, Les. I sure didn’t mind them taking up room, especially since they look so great for so long! Thanks for stopping by and the fine compliment.

  4. August 11, 2009 7:24 pm

    i’m so jealous of your garlic harvest…! everything we planted from our NY crop (some from honey bee barb) seems to have rotted away here in TX. maybe our soil ph is off, it’s too hot for it, or just the wrong kind. but that isn’t going to stop us from trying again this fall.

    has the budster tried any yet?

    • August 11, 2009 8:19 pm

      I think this stuff smells too strong for the Beagle. He needs to keep up his olfactory powers, you know.

      Shame that your NY cloves didn’t take. You need to find a TX Barb to show you the ropes! I just wrote her asking why some of them came out of the ground skinless, and it’s because I harvested too late. I’ll update the post.

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