Sunday, March 31, 2013

Garlic futures

I thought I'd planted around 55 garlic cloves last fall (last weekend of October), but I didn't write down how many there were. We apparently lost a few to the particularly cold winter, perhaps exacerbated by my not mulching  them in as thoroughly as I'd meant to. The official count of the survivors is 52.

Plus, I transplanted a dozen volunteers. They were from a bed where we grew garlic two years ago, so they would have sprouted the fall/spring of 2011/12 and formed what's known as "rounds" last year. They should produce at least a couple cloves each this year, but the heads (and cloves) will likely be smaller than the ones produced from cloves planted last fall.

Sixty heads of garlic is a good number for us. That way, even if we lose a few over the summer, we still have at least fifteen for seed stock (producing at least 60 cloves for the next year), fifteen for me, and fifteen or twenty for my co-gardener (who has a bigger family).

Fifteen doesn't seem like all that many, but these are mainly for storage, for after the gardening season. During the growing season, we have other sources of garlic, like the bulbils that we use in pickled banana peppers, or stir-frys, and the smaller, single-clove volunteer garlics that we harvest as needed during the summer.

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