This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a test garlic

garlic 3

On Sunday I dug a first garlic head to see if they are ripe yet. They plants have turned yellow and brown, but are still standing. The head was bigger than I've ever grown and beautiful creamy white skin. 6 or 8 nice cloves. But the skin had many wrappers and wasn't dry - the inner wrappers were thick and leathery still. So it wasn't ready for harvest. I'll wait a few more weeks to dig any more of them.

Garlic is ready for harvest when the leaf tops begin to dry and bend toward the ground. The presence of three to five wrapper leaves is another indication of maturity. ... Irrigation should be discontinued approximately two weeks
prior to harvest. Univ Kentucky Garlic Fact Sheet

I was disappointed to find many brown spots inside the cloves, even with the perfect skins. I suppose this is mite damage. :( Hopefully the rest don't have the same. Maybe a bad choice to grow garlic where I grew onions last year. Of course, all the irrigation probably hasn't helped either.

garlic (Allium sativum)



Blogger Amy Greenan said...

Wow! That is cool, and appreciate the info you are sharing! I plan to grow garlic starting this fall, and I am really excited about it. (I know, doesn't take much!) Can you recommend a particular type?

July 15, 2009 3:02 PM

Blogger Deborah Bier, PhD said...

Selecting a type of garlic is not only dizzying (they all sound so good in print!) but a highly personal choice.

I've always been perplexed by this was happy to recently order my fall garlic from Gourmet Garlic Farms. I cannot attest to their quality of product or service, but I was very happy to see their assortments were divided up in a way that made a lot of sense to me: mild, medium, strong. And then within your strength choice, they will select varieties for your area of the country if you ask them to.

I wish other companies would present things this way. for that assortment page. - Debbie

July 15, 2009 7:53 PM

Blogger Amy Greenan said...

Thanks for that resource, Debbie -- sounds great!

July 15, 2009 10:40 PM

Blogger pjkobulnicky said...

Looks like a "hardneck", right Cathy? If so, the stalk will never bend over. And, the wrappers will dry when you pull them and place them in a warm, dry, airy and dark place. I use the garage. Finally, we have found that the best place to keep garlic is in a crisper drawer of the fridge. Cool, dry and, importantly, dark.

Nice clove.

July 16, 2009 10:48 AM

Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

Hi there, well our Garlic has been rubbish! My sister read an article that said "just plant cloves from the Supermarket"! I wasn't completely convinced but as we share (and she has more time to do weeding!!) I agreed. Not next year, the whole lot just went yellow and rotted. I don't think they could withstand the March snow and cold as well as those that are recommended from seed companies. So - no garlic sob.

July 16, 2009 1:52 PM

Blogger kathy said...

marian, My supermarket softnecks did very well in my garden. They came through the winter fine, but the cloves were a bit small. These hardnecks I have now are bigger. They are from our Farmer's Market.

Thanks for the great info pjkobulnicky and Debbie!!

July 16, 2009 3:47 PM


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