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A Day in the Garden

October 18th, 2008

Yesterday I spent the day working outside in the gardens. It’s just the kind of day I like for working outside. Cool but sunny, perfect for working hard, you don’t get too hot. My fingers even got a bit frosty while picking all the green tomatoes.

I picked 36 pounds of green tomatoes. So what am I going to be doing with these? Some of them will be put on a shelf in the basement on some newspaper for ripening, the other green ones will be made into a batch of green tomato chutney. For now they’re covering our dining room table. All of the tomato vines went into one of my compost piles.

I also cleaned out the bed that had the potatoes in it to make room for garlic. I didn’t get quite as many potatoes as I had hoped, but I planted them a little late and I don’t think the soil is all that great. So next year they’ll be given a ton more compost. Next year I’m planning on planting some different kinds of potatoes, I’ll buy my big bag of winter potatoes from a local farm (this year I planted Kennebec potatoes)

Early this summer I ordered a garlic sampler from Gourmet Garlic Gardens. I would highly recommend ordering from them (just make sure you order early to get what you want). I ordered a spicy garlic lovers sampler for my zone. They sent the garlic out in mid-september with detailed instructions about planting. Bob even wrote thank you on my invoice, how’s that for customer service.

So how do you plant garlic? Well, first you separate the cloves and soak them overnight in a solution of 1 heaping Tablespoon of baking soda to one gallon of water. I soaked my 4 different kinds in different bowls to keep them separate.

After about 12-16 hours when the cloves are loose in their skins you immerse them in alcohol for 3-5 minutes, then you plant 6 inches apart (and 3 inches deep here in Ohio, 2 inches deep in the south, and 4 inches deep farther north).

I mulched mine with straw to keep them warmer this winter and hopefully next spring/summer I’ll have a bounty of delicious fresh garlic.

So what kinds of garlic did I plant?
German White: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, rather hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months
Killarney Red: A Rocambole Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests early-mid season, stores 5-6 months
Chesnok Red: A Purple Strip Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, medium warm pungency when raw, harvests mid-season, stores 6-8 months
Georgia Fire: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months

It looks like I’ll have a great selection for storing & eating. I’m hoping they’ll last me all year. Any of you planting garlic this fall and what’s your favorite kind?

6 Comments to “A Day in the Garden”
  1. Grammy on October 19, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I did not know about soaking them, Thanks.I planted some in the spring that I bought at a local store. They were sold bulk with no instructions. I planted them in the ground. They now look like onion sets in the ground with green stems. So I do not know if the will be garlic next year or not. I will have to try it, like you are doing. Thanks for the advice.

    Reply to Grammy's comment

  2. In the Garden: Inside and Out | Chiot's Run on April 14, 2009 at 4:46 am

    […] with. I would love a few pints for the freezer, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. The garlic is all doing very well. I think I counted over 50 plants (no problems with vampires here). That […]

    Reply to In the Garden: Inside and Out | Chiot’s Run's comment

  3. ed on August 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Interesting. Why the alcohol soak? Are we talking 80% alcohol or 5%?

    Reply to ed's comment

    • ed on August 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

      oops, I found out: as I already thought-against critters. Use rubbing alcohol

      Reply to ed's comment

  4. Picking the Green Tomatoes | Chiot's Run on October 13, 2009 at 4:48 am

    […] and ripe. One reason I have this blog is to keep track of my gardening schedule. I noticed I blogged about picking my green tomatoes last year on October 19. They were made into green tomato chutney last year, but since I still have […]

    Reply to Picking the Green Tomatoes | Chiot’s Run's comment

    • Pamela Stanton on April 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      You can make green tomato jam with raspberry jello that is delicious…just 6 cups green tomatoes, sugar and a box of raspberry jello and boil it for 5 minutes if I recall, anyhow very good.

      Reply to Pamela Stanton's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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