I think I bought too much garlic! Here it is in all its glory. It looks beautiful, it tastes delicious, and I cook with it everyday, including using it in classes for 6-8 people a couple times a week. You would think….but…I’m worried about it drying up before I can get through it all. I buy it every year from a small “mom and pop” operation in northern Wisconsin.They grow the garlic without chemicals and produce the most beautiful and flavorful garlic I have ever had. They grow over 20 varieties. Yes, there are subtle differences, but I always order the large cloves. You see, I often use more than a recipe ever calls for, so now I don’t have to squash so many cloves!
With a glut of garlic and the tomato bed finishing up, I thought….why not grow some of my own? This is a first for me. It was as easy as pie…or even easier, I would say. Remove all the weeds and dig deep to cultivate, at least 7-8 inches. The deeper the better. We’re growing a root crop here…so you want the soil nice and loose. If it’s compacted or overused, work in some compost to lighten it up and add nutrition. Garlic likes a slightly acid soil, but is not all that picky. I dug out 4 short rows in my little plot about 2-3 inches deep. Breaking apart the bulbs to plant was the easy part. Choose the largest bulbs and eat the smaller ones. All of these were large, in my judgement. I planted them about 5-6 inches apart and covered with 2 inches of soil. That was that! Done in a flash. When I have time next week to rake up a few leaves I’m going to mulch the bed with about 4-5 inches to keep out the fall weeds and keep the soil warm so the roots have a chance to grow before it freezes. After Christmas, when the ground is frozen, and I take the balsam roping down from the windows, I will lay it on top to keep the ground frozen throughout the winter, just in case there’s a warm spell…..it could happen….
Now we wait. Garlic is a perennial and grows best when planted in the fall, in the Midwest, anyway. It will establish some roots and perhaps even sprout a little, if it stays warm for a while yet. Then it will lay dormant throughout the winter, sprouting in the spring. I’ll get back to you then, and let you know how it goes. Stay tuned…..
Now maybe this is not for babies to do but who says you can’t hotsling your baby and go planting!! Why not..