Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Growing and Preserving Garlic

Garlic harvested from three containers.
I've grown garlic for years. In the beginning, it was in small containers. I got plenty, but the bulbs were on the small side.

I'm always changing the plants in my float garden. After I removed an old asparagus patch, there was room to grow garlic in the empty space.

Garlic takes very little attention. Plant cloves with the growth point up, mulch, water, feed periodically, dig, dry, and enjoy.

Fall planted garlic heavily mulched with chopped garden waste.

I purchased garlic bulbs good for my climate at the nursery. Now I save my best bulbs for fall planting.  A few bulbs go a long way. You pull the cloves apart and plant them seven inches apart for growth room. I plant in fall and mulch heavily through winter.

Fall planted garlic sprouts in early spring.

When the tops start to brown, wilt, and fall over, it's time to pull the bulbs. If the weather is dry, I leave them on the surface to dry.

Initial drying in the garden after pulling the garlic bulbs.

After the surface of the bulbs have dried, I brush off as much of the dirt as possible, tie the tops of half a dozen together, and hang them in a protected spot outdoors.

Hanging to dry in the shade under the side porch.

This starts the preserving process. I leave them outdoors until the skin on the bulbs is dry and flaky. I trim the tops shorter and hang the bundles in the cabin's storage room. By this time there's no odour, and they're handy to grab for cooking.

Dried garlic hangs in our storage room ready for use.

If you live in an apartment with a balcony, or a home with limited garden space, you can still grow garlic and have plenty left over to share with friends and family. -- Margy

17 comments:

  1. Ok what month would I plant them (never grown it), October? And when do I cut off the scape or is that necessary? It looks like you don't do that. We go through a ton of garlic, would love to buy some Russian garlic from Siefferts in Comox and plant it

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    1. As soon as it cools down some. Mine sprouted early last year because of a warm snap, but they turned out fine anyway. - Margy

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  2. What a great lesson! You do so well with your garden.

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    1. You could tuck some in anywhere. They don't need extra attention and have nice green tops to add height to low bed plants. - Margy

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  3. Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting on my post about early retirement!! I appreciated your input!!Sounds like you are living your dream!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. You are welcome. The topics meshed nicely. Thanks for letting me include a reference to your nice blog. - Margy

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  4. I read your comment on Jenn's blog about grandmothers. Mine was oldwhenmy Mum was born, and my Mum was 37 when I was born, so my Nan always seemed old to me. White fine hair in a bun, long dress every day, and I think black boots with hooks or laces, this is back in the 1940's and 50's. Love your floating garden, we have recently moved from 3 acres, where we grew everything, to a small section and I am struggling with less garden space. However we have wooden planters down the side of the driveway, and 3 raised beds on the small patch of lawn.

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    1. Grandmothers seem to be getting younger all the time. One of my elementary school friends just wrote about her new great grandchildren. Now that is a concept that's really hard for me to grasp. - Margy

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  5. I wish we had better soil here in Georgia for garden. The clay is so hard to work with and the second problem is the deer. They eat everything in sight.

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    1. Try doing some raised beds, then you don't have to worry about your soil condition underneath. They can be fenced easier too. - Margy

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  6. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Very interesting process! We had a huge garden in VA but here, the Pres didn't want one...he said he was done "working" during retirement!!...:)jp

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    1. Gardening is a lot of work, even with a small one. It's been kind of nice to cut back for a year. But I do miss all the good fresh things to eat. - Margy

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  7. Your garlic looks great! I tried growing it one year in a large rectangular pot but the pesky squirrels dug it all up. Next time I'll have to devise some sort of cover next time.

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    1. I use plastic mesh cages topped with bird netting. That gives the plastic mesh cages to keep wood rats out of my plants. The link isn't operational but you can copy and paste it into your web browser to see them. - Margy https://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com/2016/05/plant-protective-cages.html

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  8. I need to plant my garlic for next year...I'm a little behind schedule. Thanks so much for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!

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    1. I also done spring planting, but that didn't get me the large bulbs. - Margy

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  9. Your garlic looks great. I love fresh garlic for sauce and salsa. I'm a little late in planting mine this year. But, I'm hoping for a great harvest next summer.

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy