Growing Garlic

Last Fall I planted some organic Artichoke Garlic cloves in a small corner of our backyard. This space was not intended for growing but it was the only spot that I did not have to remove grass and work the ground as this was a spur of the moment buy at our local nursery. While I successfully grew garlic, I know they could have turned out much larger than they did. The corner must’ve needed more sunlight and more organic substance to provide for nice large bulbs. It was a fun learning experience, but I will most likely prep the next spot, with full sun, for my next garlic adventure. I wouldn’t pick a bulb from my harvest for replanting anyhow…they say to pick the biggest bulb from which to replant….maybe I’ll grab one of mom’s 😉

planted garlic growinggarlic ready for harvestThe garlic that I planted is a variety of Artichoke Garlic called Inchelium Red, a softneck that should have mild flavors with a touch of spice. Now these bulbs are suppose to be large, 3″ bulbs, with up to 20 cloves! Mine are definitely smaller, but will still be appreciated in the kitchen 😀

I planted the cloves in October and harvested in May. The stalks began to fall over and yellow at the base upwards, which told me my garlic was ready for harvesting. I didn’t have a spade, so I used a shovel, dug deep and lifted the new bulbs up. I set out some paper grass-clipping bags in the garage and laid my garlic out to cure. They cured for a good 4 weeks, but were probably done at the 2-3 week mark given their small size.

harvested garlic 2harvested garlicYesterday morning was a nice sunny morning for cleaning and trimming the cured garlic. I also just received my garlic storage bag in the mail that I ordered from Amazon. The keep sack is from Mastrad and measures 9″ x 5″. It’s breathable and blocks out the light. To clean the garlic I trimmed the roots to 1/4 of an inch and rubbed off as much dirt as possible, then trimmed the stalk, leaving about 1/2″ left on the bulb to keep the outer skin from peeling too much. I did remove the most outer layer, which was already flaking off, to leave behind a clean white garlic bulb.

cleaning the garlicCleaned Artichoke GarlicGarlic Storage BagAnd now for the moment of truth…mom and I had a good laugh…the size comparison!

Prepped soil vs non-prepped soil

size comparison 2

Lesson Learned! i think I’ll use a whole bulb per meal at this point 😉

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