Slow painting

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Getting the garlic in


Just in time too, before the frost and snow came this week. I was even later than usual in ordering garlic this year. Somehow I was trying to avoid my order arriving too early and starting to sprout before I could plant it. Too early turned into too late, and my supplier of preference, the Scottish Really Garlicky Company, had sold out. I did the rounds of the Organic Gardening Catalogue, Suttons, Thompson & Morgan, and finally found some at D T Brown's.

Above, my first foray into elephant garlic. And if you look closely, you can see a little triangular shard of glass just to the left of the bulbs. Where does it all come from?

Below, Tuscany Wight, a softneck grown on the Isle of Wight and said to store well. I hope it stores better than the bulbs I was sent, one of which was soft and rotting. Of course I should have sent it back, but life was far too busy for frills like that, so I popped in the good cloves and will hope for the best.


The Chesnock Wight bulbs below were in much better condition. A hardneck bulb, meant to have a distinctive, strong flavour.


I meant to take a photo of the green manure, but it took all the time I had available to dig over the bed where the garlic was to go. Not much change really - the phacelia and white mustard were growing strongly, the grazing rye most definitely was not, and the alfalfa was being taken over by a vigorous crop of shepherd's purse, which seemed to relish its bed of alfalfa seed.

Soon I expect to feel the first stirrings of winter planning fever, when gardening books and catalogues will suddenly become compulsive reading. It hasn't stirred yet, however. Perhaps it's because of our exceptionally mild autumn. Now that the cold has arrived, I'm relishing it, and want to enjoy the season rather than gloss over it and look ahead to Spring. It feels like a physical lifting of the spirits to have frost and snow. A bit of balance has come back into the world.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

No vampires there.

L. D. Burgus said...

They look like healthy bulbs of garlic. They will be well nourished and grow through the winter and will be ready to take off through the summer. I will be anxious to see their growth.

Linda said...

Hello Larry, thanks for visiting. It always surprises me that cold is necessary to give garlic a good start. It's such a Mediterranean plant (at least to those of us in Europe) that I don't equate it with cold.

Mal's Allotment said...

I'm doing garlic for the first time in over a decade, so will be interested to see how it goes (for us both)!

Janet said...

I haven't planted garlic this year after having a bad season in 2011. Along with the green manure. Grazing rye, hungarian or otherwise has been consigned to history. be interested to see how your garlic does.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

We get mystery glass too. WE are growing elephant garlic for the first time. Funnily enough the Tuscany Wight that was supposed to be in our collection was replaced by an alternative - I wonder if they had a problem growing it this year?

Linda said...

Mal, we'll compare north and south Edinburgh and see if that makes any difference. Good luck!

Janet, garlic is on the verge of being consigned to the 'not going to bother with it again' list if it doesn't perform this year!

Sue, that doesn't bode well for my Tuscany Wight. Either that or it will astonish me. I think I'm ready to be astonished.

Mark Willis said...

In theory the Isle of Wight garlic ought to do well in my garden (I'm in Hampshire), but I tried it onece or twice with very disappointing results. Maybe the time is right for another attempt (though I have left it too late for this year).
Isn't it annoying when a product arrives in poor condition, like your rotting garlic? It's such a hassle (and extra delay) to ask for it to be replaced.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I tried garlic once. Was too disappointed to try again.

My Urban Gardens said...

I am growing garlic for the first time this year. I hope it turns out. Good luck on yours.

Lynn

Marie said...

Linda,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on our trip up the mountain! I enjoyed this post. I thought about growing garlic for resale once many years ago. I am fascinated with your process here, and wish you the very best! I enjoy Peggy's organic gardening site in Cork, Ireland, and find yours equally fascinating! Best wishes for a lovely winter by the fire, snuggly warm, and then back to your efforts in the spring!

Marie

Why I garden... said...

I've never grown garlic. Some day perhaps. Looking forward to seeing how yours does.

Jo said...

We don't use much garlic so I don't grow it. I'm always finding bits of glass on my allotment, I don't know where it all comes from.

Kris said...

While I enjoy garlic, I don't like strong garlic, so I stick to the milder cousin - elephant garlic. I love the big cloves and how creamy they turn when you roast them. Hope you have good success with your first lot. Here's a link to a couple of posts about my current crop:

Peggy said...

We did not grow garlic this year as we have not had much luck with it.A line from your post jumps out at me about the garlic needing cold to get started.My first thought on reading the post was it was way too late to set garlic but maybe this is where we went wrong because I think we put it in around sept/oct each year.
Our winter mix is growing well but the mustard is sparse

Elettra said...

Happy and peaceful Christmas to you and your family, with so much joy Elettra

Jenni @ RainyDayGardener said...

Hi Linda, I've tried garlic for the first time ever. I'm a bit nervous, but hopeful :) I've given your blog a bit of a 'shout out' on my latest post. Do come round and visit :) I'm with you..the catalogs have arrived and while it's mild right now, it's rainy. Damp and Soggy days are back. I'll be planning my next year's garden with zeal...indoors :) Cheers, Jenni

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Linda,
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you, too!

I hope your garlic grows well. I inherited a patch of it when we moved here, and it has reproduced on its own. For the last few years, I have been doing a good job harvesting it, and then replanting in the fall. I am enjoying having nice sized cloves to cook with.

Elettra said...

for you and your family a 2012 with lots of happiness! Greetings!

Sanand said...

Hi Linda, the cold has arrived in my side of the world too - New Delhi

Gunn said...

I will add "Garlic" next year. Thanks for the idea!:)