Daddy’s favourite bulb

Allegra: Daddy likes all of the garlic. He loves all of the garlic now.

RLH: Allegra, how did we plant the garlic?

Allegra: We breaked it up, and then we breaked the other piece up and then…

RLH: After we broke it all up, what did we do with it?

Allegra: Buried it.

RLH: So how did we bury it?

Allegra: Just a little bit Mummy, and then we put the *seeds back in and then I had a quick Trevor ride.

Garlic

Garlic

We finally got around to planting our garlic. I’d splashed out and played with multiple varieties from Diggers Club, bought from Garden of St Erth in Blackwood as well as keeping 3 heads from the organic garlic we’d bought with our co-op in November last year. The *seeds mentioned before refer to the bulbils that form inside the flowers of hardneck variety garlic and can be planted to grow further garlic. They do however take 2 seasons to reach maturity and harvestable size as opposed to the usual 1.

Jas helping to rake in the soil

Jas helping to rake in the soil

Plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest is the dealio with garlic, or thereabouts. The shortest day of the year, Winter solstice on June 26th is the last day for planting garlic and it’s a better idea to plant it well before then, but after the heat of summer has gone. Late March (for some), April and May are the best times and although I prefer to get mine in before May it just hasn’t been possible. Saturday evening we were able to fill up 2 of our 3 nearly ready garden beds with compost ready for planting and I filled the last one up this morning with Jasper’s assistance so we had 3 1/3 garden beds for planting (the 1/3 is unplanted garden bed left over from another crop and was used for the seeds). I’ve planted a huge variety of garlics, hard and soft necks, long keepers and shorter storage varieties, pinks, purples and whites, large and small, medium heat through to reportedly very feisty tasting garlic. I am already looking very much forward to harvesting and seeing which varieties have worked best.

Yay, garlic!

Yay, garlic!

Tee hee

Tee hee

Both Jasper and Allegra helped me plant whilst the smallest permie did a bum-up snooze in his cot. With 10 varieties planted (Rojo de Castro, Silverskin, Rocombale Festival, Melbourne Market, Japanese Red, Shandong, Korean Red, Mammoth Red, Italian White and whichever wonderful variety we had from the co-op) in 3 separate garden beds we should see some form of harvest. Each bulb, holding between 8-16 cloves and with an average of 10-15 heads in a kilo (I think) we will hopefully see enough garlic to feed Martin’s insatiable garlic appetite for 12 months. I am planning to dehydrate some for garlic powder too. 🙂

I have some too

I have some too

Lets eat it now

Lets eat it now

tee hee... Yeah!

tee hee… Yeah!

Smoothing over the bed after planting the cloves

Smoothing over the bed after planting the cloves

All done!

All done!

Garlic flower heads and the bulbils

Garlic flower heads and the bulbils

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8 thoughts on “Daddy’s favourite bulb

  1. What a valuable “lesson” Jess :). Learning through doing is probably the only way that you really do “learn” things. I wish I had been a gardener when my kids were young but alas, I wasn’t and it was a lifetime ago! My daughters are growing things in pots after swearing NEVER to allow gardening to darken their doorstep so I guess not being able to source ingredients for their Korean creations has lent them a desire to grow their own 🙂 Love the cheeky hopper shots and I bet Martin is considering that compost delivery “money in the bank”! 😉

    • It sure is money in the bank when you love garlic like he does. 🙂
      I’m a book learner (or internet learner at least these days) so I’m seeing the teaching through doing thing with Jas as quite a challenge to be honest. However, watching how quickly Allegra picked up smoothing the soil over after planting the cloves out I’d say it’s a highly effective teaching method. 😉
      My entire life I’ve said I have a green thumb as long as you consider mould is green. Beyond that I suck and coupled with a phobia of bugs it’s been a VERY steep learning curve but we’re getting there.
      I am LOVING raising 3 little eco warriors and 3 green thumbs.

      • I didn’t think I had a green thumb either till I did horticulture :). I think once you “want” it, it comes 🙂 I love that the hoppers are all learning with you. It is something that they will remember and that will bring you all close together and will form the bonds for a really amazing close knit family 🙂

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