Mouse Garden

Wednesday, 23 July, 2008

Garlic – when to plant?

Filed under: Garden — Admin @ 12:36


Making a list of plants to start planning in fall, I discovered a garlic can be a good candidate.


Natalie Foster says soft-neck artichoke garlic, planted from mid- October to mid-November, are the best varieties at Cornerstone, in North Carolina s wacky winter and spring conditions. Both Inchelium Red and Lorz Italian prosper in changeable weather, store for months and are great for braiding. Although Music porcelain often doesn’t get very big, Foster says the easy-to-peel cloves are packed with big flavor, and you get wonderful scapes to eat in the spring. She loves eating the scapes either raw, baked or roasted.

In search of more good scape producers for her climate, Foster says she is encouraged by- the performance of various Asiatics and turbans, which she has been growing for the past two years. She mulches her garlic with chopped leaves, mostly for weed suppression, but in her humid climate, harvesting garlic at the right time is the -biggest challenge. Harvest garlic when the leaves are no more than 40 percent to 50 percent brown, and try to get it when the soil is dry, she says. Because curing garlic is difficult in humid conditions, Foster closely trims the roots and shakes off dirt from freshly dug garlic, but never washes it. We also have found that garlic cures best when the stalks are cut back to 2 to 4 inches, especially with hardnecks. Foster also highly recommends mild-tasting elephant garlic. (ampelopras)um which is really a leek, because it is such a prolific grower, producing 4-inch-diameter bulbs that often weigh 8 ounces or more. I stuff my Thanksgiving turkey with elephant garlic, and my guests don t know I used garlic. They just know my turkey is great, she says.


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