Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garlic Harvest

      The second and last vacation of the summer is over.  Wow did good and bad plants grow for the week we were away.  So now I am back for the summer without interruption, and it is time to get the gardens into better shape.  If only one could garden for more than ten minutes without completely drenching a shirt in sweat.  Not to mention the poor crops drooping in 90 plus heat.
      The garlic crop this year had mixed results.  The cheap garlic that last year worked so well for starter cloves had probably a 90% rot rate over the winter in the bed at the park.  Some plants that came up on their own from the prior year's hide-aways grew into some very nice bulbs.  Some garlic that I had replanted from my own cloves from the prior year is shown below.

Picked from park, 7/17/11

      These plants were grown from cloves from last year that were considered too small to eat.  They are a hard neck garlic, and produced the little piggly wiggly seed stalks.  The stalks were cut from the plants, to supposedly let more energy go to the bulbs, but obviously I left the stalks on too long as indicated by the size of the bulblets shown below.

Garlic piggly wiggly bulblets

      I was being lazy on purpose, as I actually want these bulblets to plant.  The head can be taken apart to individual little cloves, each to be planted to make new larger bulbs.  It may take two to three years to get edible size cloves, but the price sure is right.  Some of these bulblets are actually fairly large, and just might provide edible garlic next year.  After cleaning up the garlic from the first photo, I had this harvest:

A nice garlic harvest

      The garlic on the left are nice keepers, future delights in nature's perfect wrappers.  The bulbs to the right will be separated to individual cloves to be replanted in October or November.  Next year's seed crop for free!  And if this is not enough, shown below is today's harvest from the back yard garden.  These bulbs were from spindly garlic plants that some one had discarded to the park compost heap last summer.  I transplanted the green garlic shoots to my garden, with sure to be scrumptious results.

Back yard garlic, 7-19-11

      There are still some individual garlic plants over at the park from small cloves from last year.  Also some plants from tiny little bulblets from last year.  I doubt any of these will be edible this year, but certainly can be replanted for next year.  You do need to pull them though while the stalks are still visible, or they will be lost to the status of volunteers for next year.
      If it stays so hot, maybe I can get caught up a little on the blogging as it it too miserable to be outside for any long period of time.  Even early this morning was fairly unpleasant.  Hope your weather is better.  But still, it is good to be back to gardening.  Weed on!

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