Garden Log 7-29-09; It’s All about Garlic

July 29, 2009

The garden log entries here usually cover just about everything that’s currently growing out in the Veggie Gardening Tips garden, but this one will be a little different because I just finished harvesting this year’s crop of gourmet garlic and that’s always an exciting and suspenseful event!

If you still haven’t heeded my advice and planted at least a few stinkin’ cloves in your own garden then now’s a perfect time to read up on the subject and get your seed stock ordered to plant this fall. There’s a complete archive of garlic growing articles here including the following selection to help get you started:

Tips and Tricks for Raising Home Grown Gourmet Garlic

Garlic-HarvestNow back to my latest garlic harvest. I dug up a sample clove a week or so ago because I needed a bulb for a new recipe and because I was curious to see exactly how the crop was progressing. The randomly selected garlic bulb turned out to be a whopper and I was all smiles about the prospects for the remainder of this season’s harvest.

An Untimely Delay in the Garlic Harvest

Then came the rains, which were welcomed and needed in the garden, but arrived at a bad time and interfered with digging up the garlic bed. The rain delay pushed the garlic harvest back by a week or two and very little in the way of green leaf growth was left by the time the bulbs were dug up.

Gourmet-Garlic-BulbFortunately the garlic bulbs were still in great shape and only a few showed any signs of splitting out of their paper-like wrappers. Size wise it turns out that my random test bulb happened to fall towards the upper end of the spectrum, but most of the garlic was at least a few inches across and definitely larger than your typical store bought bulbs.

The crop was very productive with a growing bed about ten feet long by five foot wide yielding nearly a hundred bulbs of delicious gourmet garlic. Not to even mention how carefree it was to manage this garlic production from a fall planting.

The Ultimate Way to Savor Freshly Dug Garlic Cloves

The garlic has been hung to dry and cure for a few weeks with the exception of a few bulbs that were diverted straight to the kitchen! So what shall it be? Hmmm, fresh garlic bread, roasted garlic cloves, or maybe a garlicky pasta recipe?

Garlic-CuringNo, I think I’ll be brave and enjoy the new harvest like a true garlic aficionado; uncooked in a dish that can handle the full flavor and heat of raw cloves! How about a little hummus, salsa, guacamole, or maybe a smorgasbord of all three? I know, I really should have been better prepared and organized, it’s not like I didn’t see this day coming.

Looks like I’m headed back out to the garden to pick a ripe heirloom tomato, some fresh basil and cilantro, and then I’ll have to run to the store for an avocado, tortilla chips, and a baguette of multi-grain bread. On the way out of the store I’ll try my best to resist swinging by the garlic bin to taunt those pathetic, puny, little, flavor deprived, no-fire, bulbs that pass for garlic in my local supermarket!

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • I harvested my garlic last weekend. It was my first time growing it, and I was happily surprised at how easy it was! And since I love garlic on almost everything, having my own was particularly gratifying. Do you think I can plant another batch for harvest in the fall?

  • I never got around to planting garlic last fall, so I put some in early this spring. A couple books said this works for fall digging. I don’t expect them to be as big as if they wintered over. Have you ever planted garlic in the spring? Any tips for when to pick?

  • Kenny Point

    Hi Dave, I prefer a fall planting but have planted garlic in the spring and it grew fine. The rules for harvesting garlic are always the same they will just mature a bit later than if they were planted in the fall..

  • Tee

    Awesome looking harvest. Seeing your nice bulbs makes me wish I had room to grow some. I just might find a way to fit some in this fall when I do my other fall crops. Any suggestions on what grows well with garlic?

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Kenny Point

    Thanks Tee, garlic is a very hospitable companion in the garden and doesn’t require much elbow room since it grows straight up. If space is at a premium in the garden you can always tuck a clove here and there, wherever you have a gap between other plants. Garlic may even discourage insects like aphids from hanging around on other neighboring plants! I plant my cloves about eight inches apart in a matrix pattern so I can get good production out of a very small area of the garden. Even a 2 x 2 foot area can easily yield at least ten large bulbs of gourmet quality garlic.

  • Your blog on garlic harvest looks perfect. Enjoyed going through it. it is very very helpful and appreciated 🙂 Cheers

  • Rod

    When you harvest and dry garlic, it’s a good idea to look for little round holes in the stems. If you find any, strip the garlic down to its individual cloves and find what made the hole, otherwise a maggoty beetle larva will soon spoil a lot of the crop. Powder falling out of your dried cloves is also a sign that you need to do some investigating.

  • Jennifer

    A friend of mine gave me a clump of already growing garlic a couple of years back. I dutifully replanted the clump as it was, and have basically ignored it for a couple of years. Can I harvest the bulbs now? I know it says in your guide that they will likely separate and the paper won’t be in good shape~ but will it be edible? Could I dig up what is there now, separate and replant correctly this fall?

  • Kenny Point

    Hi Jennifer, sure you can harvest, or replant the garlic and it is perfectly fine to eat. You can replant it this fall but it’s difficult to say how well it will perform as seed stock.

  • Thanks for the Biryanis dish. Based on my experience the secret to making excellent Biryanis is in the way you create the the Biryani Masala. If the Biryani Masala is well prepared, half the war is won.

  • Wow! great harvest you have.

  • Excellent post. You produce looks good.. Garlic has many health benefits not known to many.

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