Ahhh, at last! After a highly unseasonable first month, we seem to have settled into a more normal stretch of fall weather…nights in the mid-40’s, and bright, sparkly days in the upper 50’s…the best time of year, hands down.
Which also means the last big gardening chores of the year – cleaning up, clearing out, and planting the garlic.
Let’s take the fun one first, shall we?
First rule of planting garlic: use the biggest, fattest heads from last summer’s harvest. When you re-plant the very best specimens of what you’ve grown yourself, you’re selecting the best-adapted genes to go forward into the years to come.
If this will be your first year for garlic, no worries! Good seed garlic is a s close as the farmer’s market, if there’s one in your area*. Small market farmers don’t treat their produce to prevent sprouting – the main drawback to planting supermarket garlic.
Since we’re expanding the garlic crop this fall – and I didn’t want to put ALL of this year’s back into the ground! – I bought a few heads from a local farmer a couple of weeks ago. I asked if he knew the name of the variety, and he laughed. He’s been replanting the same ones for so many years, he’s not even sure it HAS a name…
I’ve been replanting from my original batch for 6 years. I can’t remember their name, either…They’re hardnecks. Both of them.
I planted them on opposite ends of the new bed, with the California softneck between them…
All totalled, I think I planted around 150 cloves…I might have mis-counted, but that’s pretty close. Maybe, it’ll be enough to get us through from one harvest to the next…
Sleep well, little garlics! See you in the spring!
*If you can’t find garlic from a local grower, a seed catalog or garden center is the place to go, not the grocery store…who knows what they spray on that stuff!