Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Garlic is Planted

I had such a great garlic harvest in 2010, but then in 2011 it was the drought, and in 2012 it was the move. No garlic, back to buying it from the store. The great thing about gardening, though, is there's always next year. Maybe 2013 will be another year with a garage full of curing garlic. I hope so, because garlic is one of my favorite things to grow and to eat.

This year I ordered planting garlic from Gourmet Garlic Gardens. It's a neat website run by a guy from Texas, with a lot of good info about growing garlic in warm climates. I got the Warm Winter Sampler, which ended up getting me three new varieties of garlic I haven't tried before.

Burgundy is a Creole garlic, which I'm happy about, because Creoles are supposed to do well in warm areas. I tried to grow another Creole, Ajo Rojo, year before last, but the late freeze killed it (before the drought finished off everything else). One interesting thing is I remember Ajo Rojo's bulbs having only one layer of cloves around the central "hardneck" stalk, but Burgundy had two layers. I ended up with a lot more cloves of this than any of my other varieties. Not only did they give me three whole bulbs, but each one had a lot of tall, thin cloves in it. I ended up with 70 cloves in total. Hope it does well!

I've seen a lot of raves about Music, except I'm not sure why I got Music in a warm climate sampler, because I was under the impression that it likes cold climates. It's a Porcelain, which are so-so in warm climates, in general. Hope it does OK.

Another Porcelain, with only a few large cloves per bulb. I'm assuming since it's from Romania, then it should be especially good against vampires, if I get a good crop.

Those are the three new varieties of garlic I got, and then I have a couple that I actually managed to harvest this year that I'm going to try replanting.

I got a small harvest of Elephant garlic, though they were only the size of regular garlic. I went ahead and divided them into cloves and planted them anyway.

The Lorz Italian was the only other garlic from the last harvest I felt was worth replanting. As you can see, most of the bulbs only got to about quarter-sized and never divided into cloves. I was able to divide a couple of them into two. I'll see how they do. I also planted Lorz the year before, and it was killed by the drought like everything else, but it was one of the ones that hung on longer. That leads me to believe it's probably a good variety for me, if it could just get a fair chance. It's an Artichoke, which is a type that usually does well in warm areas. In 2010, the highest yielding garlics I grew were all artichokes (Red Toch, Chet's Italian Red, and Broadleaf Czech), but unfortunately I couldn't obtain planting garlic for any of those varieties this year. Planting garlic sells out so fast!

All five of my garlic varieties are now planted, taking up one whole bed on the end, with kale plants separating them so I can be sure to keep track of what variety is what. I'm going to put a thick mulch of grass clippings over them as soon as I get around to mowing the yard, and I hope they do well!

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