By Jannie Vaught
We may get some rain if storms flow in our direction from the gulf. But you never know as this can change in a short time. Although we are in this part of late summer there is still much to do. My compost is finished and it has begun its journey into the raised beds and in-ground garden. I still have some peppers lingering and okra. The second planting of corn and winter squash is growing fast but needs consistent water as the hot winds of August strip away moisture.
Last week was my time to order garlic for the late fall planting. We can grow both soft neck and hard neck variety, but I have found that the soft neck variety grows consistently. Here are some varieties, Early Italian, California white, Inchelium Red, Lorz Italian, silver-white, Nootka rose, Transylvanian, Great Lakes, and Kay’s backyard. These are planted in the fall with harvest in the summer. It’s a 9-month process. There is also Elephant garlic which is not true garlic but a leek.
How do you to plant and grow garlic?
Locate a well-drained section of your garden, if the water is still above ground after a hard rain 5 hours later choose another place. They like a little sand and organic mulch worked in the soil so they can grow big bulbs. In the fall break-up, the bulbs use the largest sections save the small inner ones for the kitchen. Some folks like to pre-soak in water with a tablespoon of vodka for cleaning any possible future mold. lant 2 to 3 inches deep 6 inches apart. Plant the big end down and the pointy end up. Water them in well as dry bulbs are possibly slow or fail to germinate. Do this all as soon as you break up the bulbs. Now keep them moist give a light feed of compost tea in 3, and again at 6 months. They are ready for harvest when the tops start to dry and fall over.
This variety is best for making beautiful garlic braids for kitchen storage. If you want to plant garlic from the store it will possibly be pre-bleached. If it has no little roots on the bottom it is from another country as the roots must be completely removed for transport to the USA. I have tried using grocery garlic with OK success. Look for organic and roots on the bottom. I have done a yearly save for next year and in a few years they get small so this year I am ordering for fall. Just know many of the varieties are listed as Out of Stock so order soon. Elephant garlic is planted the same as regular garlic. plant the separated bulbs at least 6 inches deep and 10 inches apart. They will grow faster than regular garlic so you can plant fall or spring. If you are a container gardener they will grow in large pots or fabric growing containers, just make sure there is enough drainage and they may need more feeding. Cover with hay, straw, or frost cloth if a hard freeze arrives for an extended length of time.
Keep planning that fall garden it will be here soon.
Growing Green With Jannie