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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂