Last November I planted some garlic a wonderful friend had given me. Shortly after I planted the cloves the wild turkeys showed up and rearranged them with their scratching. But they sprouted green shoots in the spring and were, amazingly after the turkeys marched through, in neat rows. We’ve had such a cool, wet spring and summer so far, that most of the other things I tried to grow this year (tomatoes, basil, peppers) are sort of sorry looking. Unfortunately, I chose to plant things that like sun and light and warmth and this has been a year of clouds and rain and coolness.
The garlic, however, did pretty well. The tops grew tall and produced lovely scapes, which I did not eat. I’ve been told they are delicious sauteed in butter. I think most things are delicious sauteed in butter, but that’s another story. Anyway, the garlic books says to harvest the garlic when the sixth leaf turns brown. I assume they mean the sixth leaf from the top and the other day, sure enough, the sixth leaves from the tops were yellowish brown. I pulled the first one and there was a neat garlic bulb!
I ended up with about two dozen bulbs, a few larger ones, a few smaller ones, and the rest sort of medium size. I brushed most of the dirt off and left them under an umbrella on the picnic table to dry. After a day or so, I took an old toothbrush and brushed more dried dirt off them and trimmed the root hairs to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. I gathered the stalks into two groups and they are hanging under the umbrella to dry further. I’m told it takes about 2 to 4 weeks for them to dry completely and then they can be stored for use. Can’t wait to try my own home-grown garlic!
This drawing is done in pen & ink and is my first attempt using the new watercolor pencil set I bought.