Saturday, September 25, 2010

Garlic Planting Season

The gathering of the Canadian Geese at the lake and the arrival of crisp, Autumn mornings indicate that Garlic Planting Season has arrived in the High Desert.  In years past, I have planted Bogatyr, Polish, Georgia Crystal, Korean Red, Siberian, Music and Kettle River.  With the exception of the Kettle River, all have been hard necks that enjoy a good, freezing winter.  Over and over, Siberian has been the best grower, with the rest of the hard necks being one slight step below and about equal.  The soft neck was still good and quite edible, but did not produce as large a bulb as it might have with a milder winter.  It has been a few years since I have grown garlic, and the most I've ever grown was about 100.

This year, I decided to plant enough to perhaps sell a few and give away some... so far, 316 cloves are in the ground.  I waited until the last minute to order garlic as I wasn't sure I would have time to plant out so many, due to school and other obligations; however, the urge to plant garlic was irresistible, and I succumbed at the last moment.  Alas, this meant that my favorite garlic supplier, The Garlic Store ( , was out of all of the varieties that I wished for.  So instead, I ordered from Two Sisters Garlic (  I am somewhat disappointed that they also ended up not having Siberian and ended up making a substitution; however, I understand I ordered late.  I also understand that the biggest and best bulbs had already been sold.  Still, the varieties I have should make plenty of wonderfully stinky garlic.

This year I am growing only 4 varieties.  One of the reasons I limited myself to four varieties was not simply because I ordered late and choices were limited, but also because it is difficult to keep track of the different varieties.  Many look similar in clove color, skin color, shape and size.  Planting maps need to be carefully kept and the bulbs must be tagged at harvest if there is going to be any chance of knowing which variety you have.  The four varieties I chose for this year are all different in appearance, so even if some are confused at harvest time, there is a middling fair chance I will be able to tell them apart.

The varieties I am planting this year include Inchilium Red (soft neck), Fireball, Music, and German Red. Planted so far - 316 cloves. 281 main crop and 35 small cloves to let flower or to eat the scapes from.
  • 29 Inchilium Red
  • 126 Fireball
  • 99 Music
  • 27 German Red
  • 35 very small cloves Fireball
Main Bed North 56 Music, 27 German Red, 42 Fireball
Main Bed South 43 Music, 70 Fireball
Raised Bed No. 2 10 Inchilium Red along the south board
West Sunflower Bed 14 Fireball, 19 Inchilium Red, 35 small Fireball for scapes or flowers

Still left to plant - about 100 cloves of planting size and 100 small cloves for chive, scape or flower use. And somewhere along the way, in a totally unrelated drive to plant flowering spring bulbs, I also now have 45 daffodil bulbs to plant out!

1 comment:

Lilly S said...

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