I walked through the garden today to see if I needed to water anything. Considering how dry it's been, the soil was moist to the touch under the thick hay mulch. I looked up to see a few of my co-workers taking photos with something that looked suspiciously like garlic. I went over to see what the excitement was about, and indeed, they were ooohing and aaaahing over a lovely crown of garlic newly plucked from the soil. I offered to take a photo of the three of them with their camera, and went back over to my garlic stand.
|What was under the soil? What did my crowns look like? I couldn't wait, so I got a little hand trowel and dug up a crown.|
|Oh man, it was huge! I mean, I had no idea what I'd pull out of the ground, and the size of this "duganski" crown surprised me.|
|The crown is nearly three inches wide, and it's just asking to be eaten. While garlic needs to cure for long-term storage, I couldn't wait to see what was inside.|
|The crown after cutting off the top, roots and peeling back the first few outer layers.|
|The crown after peeling off all the outer layers.|
About this garlic - Duganski, ordered from Territorial Seed Company. Planted in October under heavy mulch. Pulled mulch aside in March. Fertilized twice with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable 8-4-4 Plant Food. This crown pulled on June 25, 2012.
You can learn more about how to prepare garlic for long-term storage at this great video. I'm going to take this guy's advice and dig one crown a week to see how they are doing - I want to maximize size while getting them out of the ground before the outer skins begin to disintegrate, compromising long-term storage.
Please share your garlic stories here; when do you pull your garlic out, how do you prep and store it, and what's your favorite varieties for growing in northern climates?