Saturday, September 23, 2006
Puttering. Garlic for next year.
Garlic is fun because it is planted in the fall, grows in late fall, becomes somewhat dormant during the winter then resumes growth in Spring for an early Summer harvest. Since we average a couple of cloves daily in the kitchen, we use all of the garlic that this small garden nproduces. It is easily planted among roses and perennials as well, and is reputed to be a good companion plant, repelling insects (I dont know if that is really true.)
This year I planted saved cloves from the last harvest of "German Red" garlic, which produced large clove bulbs of fairly strong tasting garlic. The wrappers of this variety have purplish-red stripes, adn the variety is said to have been brought to the US by German immigrants several generations ago. This is the '3rd generation' of this garlic in my garden. As I have read, each year I save the largest bulbs and plant the largest cloves from those bulbs. They do seem to be adapting to this yard, and this year's crop had the largest bulbs so far.
I also bouught a couple of bulbs of Inchelium Red garlic, which Rodale Institute rated as the best tasting. I wonder if these were mislabeled in the bins, however - they didn't look red and the cloves were not as big as photos on the internet. Still, they would be an interesting variety to try, since they have a good story (originating from Washington State tribal reservation gardens) and a good reputation.
I did not replant the garlic that I had grown from grocery store left-overs. These also turned out great, with larger bulbs than I had bought originally. However, since they are easily purchased, I wanted something 'more special' in the yard.