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Why I Don't Buy Garlic...

Here is our harvest
97 heads of garlic on the shelf, 97 heads of garlic, take one down....You know how the song goes. With 97 heads of garlic on the shelf, I don't need to buy any garlic.

You should plant garlic in the fall late October/early November (keep in mind we're located in the Northeast).  Buy organic garlic - for each clove from the head, you should get one plant. I got the original garlic from one of the docs that I used to work with.  It is really strong - much stronger than what you can buy in the store.

Plant each clove about 6 inches apart from one another. You can leave the skin on. If you want you can cover them with some leaves to act as mulch and to keep them moist over the winter.  About February or March you will notice the garlic begin to pop up out of the ground. If you get a real warm week, you will notice significant growth.  Late May/early June you will see the scapes start to grow. These are the flowers - you need to cut them off. If you do not, the energy in the plant will go to producing the bloom instead of the bulb. You can also cook with the scapes. You can use them in most any recipe that you use garlic or shallots in.

Late June you will notice the bottom leaves start to brown.  Pull up one or two bulbs and look at the size. If they are a good size, you are ready to pull them all up.  Once you pull them up, leave them out in the sun for about a day to dry up a bit.  We usually put them down the basement for about a week or so and then cut the green part off. Reserve some to plant in the fall.

We just pulled them up. We have 97 heads of garlic.  This usually lasts us the year. We store it down the basement, it does start to sprout a bit maybe around April or May but I still use it - I just remove the sprouts from the cloves. The germ from sprouted garlic tastes bitter as proved by David Lebovitz's experiment.

The only problem with the garlic is that it takes room up in the garden.  We had some zucchini plants patiently waiting in pots for the garlic to be pulled up. They are now nestled all snug in the garden and we are waiting for the zucchini crop to start.


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