Garlic Time

It’s time to plant garlic.

Traditionally (here at least) Columbus Day is the day for planting garlic, and traditionally tomorrow is Columbus Day.

But we won’t be planting garlic tomorrow. Over the weekend we got over five inches of rain and now our intended garlic beds are muddy and sloppy. They’ll have to dry out a bit and that’s going to take awhile.

Absent another hurricane it shouldn’t be a problem though. Some people plant their garlic as late as November and that’s fine.

Even as we’re preparing to plant a new crop, we’re still not done processing last year’s garlic. We used to hang our garlic to dry, tying it to cattle panels in a shed. As we increased the amount we plant (we now aim to plant about 1,000 cloves) that just became way too much work. Now we spread it out on upturned vegetable crates and use box fans to dry it out. Eventually, as time permits, we trim the roots and tops off and peel away the top layer of skin. A good job for rainy or wintry days. We’re still working on it.

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35 comments on “Garlic Time

  1. I’m lucky to have most if mine planted already which is good because most of my fall garden time has been spent trying to get rid of the Bermuda Grass that is trying to take over the veggie garden 😦 GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

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    • NebraskaDave says:

      silverspring, I’m so with you on the GRRRRRR of bermuda grass. However mine is a grass that has those Velcro heads of seeds. Domestic life kept me out of the garden and they matured which I didn’t want to happen, Now millions of seeds have covered my garden raised beds. I’m not looking forward to Spring and the grass control that will be needed.

      Have a great grass free day.

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    • Bill says:

      That’s nasty stuff. Good luck with it.

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  2. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, that’s some good looking garlic. I have yet to grow garlic. I just don’t use it in my cooking. It’s not that I don’t like it but it’s just not some things I’ve learned how to use yet. I use lots of onions but haven’t bumped up the spices to garlic yet.

    Have a great garlic day.

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    • Bill says:

      Garlic is easy to grow. I recommend it to beginning gardeners. We grow a lot more than we can use personally. On the other hand we never seem to have enough onions. I’ll be planting those in the next week or two also.

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  3. BeeHappee says:

    And will you be planting some new varieties that you brought from your travels? 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      Well that’s an interesting story. As you know I bought some beautiful violet garlic in France and I was excited about planting it here. According to my quick research it was legal to bring garlic through customs. After Joanna called me out on it I went back and researched further. Turns out that peeled garlic cloves are allowed, but garlic bulbs are not. I very seriously considered bringing it back anyway, in the hopes the customs agent wouldn’t make the distinction, but in the end just left all that beautiful garlic in our hotel room at CDG. Then we landed in the States I had to declare an apple I’d foolishly (unintentionally) brought back. So I checked yes on the box saying we had fruit, vegetables, seeds, etc. But the agent just waved me through. No questions, no checking. So I could have brought the garlic in without any problem. Oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mmm, not so sure customs would’ve been quite so cavalier about your bringing in garlic. It’s all about the soil on the roots and the possibility of Invasive Species, right?

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      • Bill says:

        The point is that they didn’t check to see what I had. It could have been a whole suitcase of garlic. I checked the box but they just waved me through anyway.

        But I suppose it’s for the best. I doubt there was much risk of me introducing any disease but I’d hate to be responsible for something like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Bill, that’s a massive amount of garlic. I have enough keeping up with my own to use…only about 50 heads. They sure do clean up pretty though, don’t they? Such a satisfying crop to grow (and eat!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice!! Do you grow both hard neck and soft Bill?

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  6. Norma Chang says:

    Great garlic harvest. At one point I grew soft neck but somewhere along the way I discontinued, am going to grow them again next year as they are much better keeper compared to the hard neck.

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    • Bill says:

      Our soft neck easily keeps for a year and would probably keep longer. I’ve never grown hard neck but I’m intrigued by the varieties available and I’ve read that it has superior flavor. Maybe someday…

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  7. The French garlic scenario made me think of California, Bill. Every time you drive into the state, they have checkpoints to see if you have any fruits or vegetables with you. Drives me nuts. I understand the concern about bringing in plant diseases, but often the stations are closed . So much for keeping nasty things out. Mainly I see the stations as a government boondoggle. As for garlic, love it. –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      Interesting. In our case the customs officer just waved me through without a question and without looking at anything.

      I flew into Australia once, having been in Brazil just a couple of days earlier. They were so vigilant about protecting against anything invasive that I had to sign a document acknowledging that they had the right to surveill me while I was there, even though I was bringing in nothing (they checked thoroughly) and only because I had stepped foot on a Brazilian farm recently. Much different than your enter-California and my return-from-France experiences.

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  8. Wow.. that is a lot of garlic to plant.. 🙂 My three small rows are drying in the garden shed.. 🙂 We love garlic and it is so good for us too.. I use a lot in cooking.. xxx

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  9. That is a lot of garlic. I haven’t planted mine yet either. We’re having pretty mild weather and the area I want to use still has squash!

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    • Bill says:

      I’m hoping to get started on ours this week. I changed our garden plan after deer destroyed most of our fall Asian greens and we’ll plant the garlic and onions there instead of the less favorable site I’d planned. Trying to make the best of the situation. 🙂

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  10. ladyfi says:

    Growing your own garlic – how lovely! Bet it tastes better than home-bought too.

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    • Bill says:

      Garlic is easy to grow and we prefer to raise as much of our own food as possible. And yes homegrown garlic is superior to the imported stuff they sell in grocery stores.

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  11. A thousand cloves? Wow.

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    • Bill says:

      Makes for a long dull day of planting, but they’re very little trouble after that. One of the easiest crops we grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OK, Mr. Expert, tell me: are the ones I grow from the dried seeds that simply fall on the earth and produce garlic bulbs two years later any different in taste than the ones planted in cloves? I let some of the garlic scapes dry on the stalk and let them fall or sprinkle them on the bed. Then they grow. What thinkst?

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      • Bill says:

        I’ve never grown them that way, and I’ve never heard of anyone else doing it that way, but I doubt there is any difference in taste. Maybe you should buy a bulb of local garlic at the farmers market and compare!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really? I am surprised that many people don’t do so. I honestly can’t tell the difference in taste, and I love the fact that they are my fresh garlic from my own garden. as you say, garlic is easy to grown, either way.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. OH Merciful Heavens – I forgot!! I had better find some pronto and get it into the ground! Thank you for the reminder – c

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