Monday, 9 July 2012

Great Garlic

My garlic harvests to date have always been rather pathetic - small bulbs and few of them. But this time round I tried overwintering my garlic - planting it last autumn and harvesting, well, now, and I added a sprinkle of onion fertiliser to the soil before planting to give it a bit of a boost. It's been a great success!

The garlic (Provence Wight) grew strongly from the off and looked great by spring. Despite a bit of rust (no doubt exacerbated by the wet weather) they've been going for it all season, until recently when the leaves began to die off, signalling harvest time.

Digging veg up in the mud is never pleasant, but it became clear there was no point waiting for dry weather... When the sun came out late yesterday afternoon, we went for it.

Twenty minutes later, it was pouring again. Hmph.

But we were there by then, already getting drenched, so we dug the garlic anyway, and brought it home caked in mud. There were a few losses - some were just rotten and pests had moved in, others were pathetically small for reasons unknown. Some lost their protective skins as I dug them up and the stalk pulled off - is this because I left it a bit late to dig them, or because of the wetness and rot, or a combination?

But the vast majority are big, plump, firm, healthy bulbs - by far the best result I've had with garlic. Lots of them have a white mould on the outside - my first thought was the dreaded white rot, which I know I have in my soil - but the bulbs seem otherwise big and healthy and have good strong root systems so I guess that's not the case. Hopefully it'll just go away as they dry.

The whole house stinks of them!

After a couple of days indoors for the worst of the mud to dry off (I'm going to move them to a wire rack to improve ventilation), I'll hang them in the summer house to dry for a few weeks, then trim them and clean them for storage. I'm a garlic fiend, but this lot should keep me going for a while!


Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

We grew nine varieties of garlic using three different methods with variable results which I will post on once I have gathered all my information together

Nome said...

Yes, I remember reading about your garlic-growing experiments - looking forward to reading the results!

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