It’s that time of year to start thinking about planting garlic. Mine is going to be planted where the sweet potatoes were this summer. I plan on planting a lot of garlic, loads and loads of it. I never seem to have enough and I like giving it away as well. We eat a lot ourselves and I feed it to the chickens and the dogs every now and again.
Last year I did a giveaway thanks to Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (also known as GrowOrganic.com), a company that my parents have been purchasing from since I was a kid. I’m more than happy to get a great prize for one of you while helping spread the word about this great company! Peaceful Valley also has a in depth weekly newsletter with loads of how-to videos and lots of useful information. They’re also on facebook if you want to keep up with their sales.
The garlic giveaway special will feature: a Garlic Combo collection, a quart of liquid kelp and plant labels. The garlic combo pack contains: 1 head of Elephant (conventional), 3 heads of California Early White (organic softneck), 3 heads of Music (organic hardneck), 3 heads of Russian Red (organic hardneck), 3 sets of French Red Shallots (organic).
So why the liquid kelp? Garlic bulbs do better when soaked in liquid kelp before planting. It gives them the boost they need to get a strong root system going before winter arrives in earnest. The plant labels were included because I have a very bad habit of never labeling my garden plants, particularly the garlic. As a result I have different kinds of homegrown garlic in my pantry but I don’t know which is which. The labels should help you keep things organized!
If you’ve never grown garlic before, don’t worry. I’ll have a garlic growing guide up on the blog next week.
Deadline to enter is Wednesday, October 23 at midnight. Winner has been chosen via random.org – #72 – Matt who said, “I’ve loved garlic all my life.. Now I’m starting my own Back to Eden style garden and of course plan garlic to be part of it.”
How do you enter this giveaway? Tell me what’s your favorite way to use garlic in the kitchen?
Filed under Around the Garden, Edible, garlic | Comments (140)
I’ve been keeping an eye on my garlic watching for the scapes to appear. It’s amazing how one day you check and there’s nothing, then the next they’re curling out of the middle of the plant. Not all garlic produces scapes, from what I read only the hard neck varieties do, so don’t be worried if yours doesn’t.
I have read that harvesting the scapes will produce larger bulbs, this has been my experience. The first year I grew garlic I harvested some scapes and left some. The bulbs were much larger on the plants I had harvested scapes from. It makes sense as the plant doesn’t expend energy into the production of the flower instead using it to grow a large bulb.
Garlic scapes are quite delicious, they don’t have the assertive garlic flavor of the bulbs so you can eat them as a side dish or use them in other dishes. They’re quite good sauteed or grilled. If you’ve never had them before treat them like you would asparagus. My favorite way to enjoy them is in stir fry. This week it was ginger venison stir fry with those golden peas (I’ll share my recipe next week). I’m thinking this coming week I may make pasta carbonara with garlic scapes.
Do you grow garlic? Do you harvest scapes?Filed under Edible, garlic | Comments (26)
The garlic that I planted last fall is looking great this spring. I’m interested to see how the different varieties grow and the difference between the ones that were soaked previous to planting and the ones that weren’t. I love doing experiments to see if all those extra tips are really worth the time and effort.
Yesterday afternoon I gave the garlic and shallots beds a watering with some Neptune’s Harvest (which I purchase by the 5 gallon bucket) to give them a nice boost of nutrients for spring growth. I find that this product works wonders for growing healthy plants, especially for those of us with really lean soil.
Next week I’ll be scraping back the mulch and adding some bone meal to the top of the soil then reapplying the mulch. I’ll apply more bone meal in early May, this will help the garlic develop larger bulbs since mine tend to be on the small side they need a good amount of phosphorus. One thing I love about growing garlic in the garden is the flavor, it’s so much better than the storebought bulbs. I also love the variety that you can grow. Mr Chiots and I eat a lot of garlic as we love the flavor and the health benefits it provides. (for all varieties I’m growing and planting info read this post). It looks like we’ll be vampire free for another year thanks to the lovely garlic that overwintered so well!
Are a lover of fresh garlic? Do you grow any in your garden?Filed under Edible, garlic | Comments (35)
Last year I harvested my garlic on July 17. This year my garlic was ready to harvest early last week, but I didn’t have time to get out to do it. I ended up harvesting all the garlic last Friday evening.
As with onions, the heads of garlic I grow here at Chiot’s Run are always a little smaller than I’d like. But this year they were much larger due to the fact that I added a teaspoon of bone meal under each bulb at planting time.
I planted different varieties of garlic than I did last year, I haven’t tasted them yet so I don’t know how they’ll stack up to the varieties I grew last year.
I only have a few heads of garlic left from my harvest last year, so I’m happy that the pantry is once again filled with a nice basket of garlic. I use lots of garlic in my cooking, both because of the flavor and the health benefits.
Are you a garlic lover? Do you grow garlic in your garden?Filed under Edible, garlic, harvest | Comments (31)
September is the month when things start slowing down here in Ohio. We had scattered frost the last week of September, which is a few weeks earlier than usual. The weather has been very cold and very cloudy and dark, which significantly slowed down the harvests from the garden.
I harvested my onions, which was very disappointing. For some reason onions do not do well in my soil, I don’t know if it’s the acidity or the lack of sunlight in my fairly shady gardens. I’ll be growing the majority of my onions at my mom’s house next year and I’ll experiment with a few new locations here with more sun.
I didn’t get around to planting any lettuce in late Aug/early Sept as I wanted, so I don’t have any lettuce from the garden at the moment. I also got my fall cabbage & broccoli started a little too late, that coupled with the early cold weather will mean I will not be harvesting much from my fall garden. I do have spinach, chard and mache in one bed that will be ready for early spring harvests next year.
The longer I garden the better I’ll be at planting things at the right times to ensure better fall harvests. I should have a decent October harvest with all the squash and popcorn and hopefully I’ll be harvesting lettuce and other green towards the end of the month. I was also able to can/freeze/dry a lot of food for this winter not just from my garden but local food from the farmer’s market as well.
In September I was able to harvest:
44 lbs of tomatoes that were canned in chunks for winter sauces & soups
40 lbs of pears from my mom’s tree
43 lbs of pumpkins & squash that will be made into pies and other goodies
5 lbs of small onions that will be used up this winter in all kinds of dishes
4 lbs of green beans that were steamed, drizzled with olive oil and enjoyed
3 lbs of melons
2 lbs of crabapples that were used to thicken my elderberry syrup
2 lbs of peppers, mostly cayenne that were dried to spice up soups & sauces
2 lbs of celery that was used in chicken soup when I was sick and other dishes
.5 lbs of garlic that I found in the garage that was actually harvested in July but somehow got misplaced
Lots and lots of herbs that have been dried and stored for sipping in teas or spicing up dishes
Despite all the setbacks, it was still a satisfying September. I’d rather be harvesting a little from the garden than nothing at all, and I guess I keep track so that I realize at the end of the month that harvesting 142 lbs of food from my garden means that it wasn’t such a bad month after all. Besides, there are still tomatoes that are ripening on the vines and that makes me happy.
What were your September harvests like? Any standout producers?Filed under Beans, Edible, garlic, harvest, Harvest Keepers Challenge, Onions, Pumpkin, Tomato | Comments (16)