Saturday, June 5, 2010
The Garlic Experiment
This morning I cleaned my garlic haul for the year. Now I have 4 little paper bags of my minuscule garlics. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that I didn't do anything wrong and it had more to do with the weather as Vertie also had garlic on the small side (and she grew garlic last year, so she at least has something to compare to).
I still have to write the varieties on the paper bags, but I did at least number them, so I just have to search back through my posts to find the one that tells me which number is what variety. (Hey man, I do occasionally try to learn lessons from others so I don't repeat them).
I'm not sure (so I'll have to turn to my good friend, Google), but I think that garlic is kinda like a pineapple--that is, the larger your starter, the larger the end product. That is to say; pineapple, when you start it, can only be as big or smaller than the parent plant, and I think Garlic is kinda the same way--bigger cloves = bigger heads. All this really means is that I'm probably going to end up buying garlic to plant again this year rather than try to get garlic plants out of my puny heads (seriously, there's one that's the size of a quarter...I should take a picture, it's like a wee baby garlic).
Final Thoughts on growing garlic: I found it very easy to grow garlic. I think I compost tea'd the fall garden bed 2 times (ergo the garlic got it as well), but I didn't ever have pest problems. When I did water the garden, it was never because the garlic looked like it needed it (just the other plants). Harvesting the garlic was probably the toughest thing of the whole adventure. The bottom leaves started turning yellow a month or so before I dug up everything. One of my friends pulled up a garlic as soon as the bottom leaf turned yellow, and of course he ended up with a quarter sized head. I at least did dig down to try to figure out how large the garlic head was before I pulled it out. In all cases, I ended up pulling the garlic earlier than I would have liked because the tops were telling me "pull me" but the garlic bulbs were still very small.