Thursday, April 9, 2009

Garlic and Snow

Perhaps, the snow will all melt today. It has been a cold weather week but the garlic didn't seem to mind the harsh weather.
Garlic is pretty hardy and I have yet to discover anything that bothers it. The deer and rabbits stay away and so do insects and vampires.
I usually plant hardneck varieties (pictured above). I like eating the June scapes or the seed head which should be cut so the cloves will grow larger. Last fall, I did plant a softneck variety in a new bed.
Garlic is usually planted in the fall for the best crop the following summer. Like the wild leeks, it begins to grow as soon as the snow melts. Mine, planted in raised beds, is usually ready to dig in mid-July.
Then it is hung and dried in a shed. Where the garlic grew, I can usually get in a crop of bush beans which ripen before the killing frosts in October.
The cold weather signals the time to re-plant the garlic. Plant the largest cloves for best results, use the smaller ones for cooking. I try to mulch the cloves after they are planted about two inches deep. Leaves and the last lawn mowing provide the mulch.
While fall is a long way off, plans for garlic happen in the spring, a fall garden requires some organization and thought, much like winter thinking about spring.
After this week's snow storm, it's great to see something growing and turning the brown earth green.
One quick note: The Crawford County Pomona Grange Bake Sale is this Saturday, starting at 9 am, at the H&H in Saegertown. Not sure if they'll have garlic but I'd bet a lot of good Easter baked goods.
And for more leek photos and an artcile.

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