This was a good year for garlic . . at least in my garden. Saturday I had pulled 3 rows (there are 11 rows). Don’t panic, the rows are pretty short. I spread all the garlic out on a sheet on the porch, out of the sun, to dry a bit. Today was the day for peeling garlic and I peeled 11 cups of it!
Thank goodness those cloves are mostly huge and it’s very quick and easy to peel. I set up a big fan on the porch and turned it blowing on me and turned the porch fans on, turned the music up and must’ve been out there at least 3 hours but that’s half the garlic I pulled Saturday. Tomorrow I’ll peel the other half and maybe pull some more out of the garden.
See how huge those cloves are? It’s a mild garlic – Siciliano, and it obviously grew well. This year I planted the Siciliano, Red Toch and Inchelium Red. Here in the HOT south, soft neck varieties tend to grow better and store better, though I haven’t had great results braiding/hanging or putting the garlic in a mesh bag and hanging it. I am going to try the braiding again this year and see how it works . . mostly because I have darned much garlic that it really isn’t going to bother me if I lose some of it. I even thought about going down the Farmers’ Market and trying to unload some of it but I doubt I do that.
Above is my weird garlic. I only planted the three kinds mentioned above. I planted it in an area far away from where I planted garlic last year. I planted 11 rows of garlic . . 4 rows each, except the last row is longer and it is Siciliano. My garlic seed came as bulbs which I divided up into cloves and planted. So . . why did I get a couple of these big, fat, round, single clove garlic bulbs on each row. They’re just interspersed among the “normal” garlic. You can see how the one on the front right looks like it almost wanted to make individual cloves but didn’t. These things are pretty big so I quartered them and there’s definitely no clove division in there. I’ve never had that happen before. I did a google search and there were lots of suggestions . . someone suggested elephant garlic but every bulb had at least 8 or 10 cloves that were planted and if it was elephant garlic, I would have more of it, so I don’t think that’s the answer. Someone else said it was because the garlic didn’t get 40 nights of temps below 40º, which I don’t doubt happened, but why would all the rest of the garlic be normal?
Oh well . . Mother Nature must be having fun in my garden!