Saturday, July 14, 2012
As far as I'm concerned, garlic is indispensable. I can hardly cook anything without it. It's a great crop for the home gardener because it keeps. I'm going crazy trying to figure out what to do with pounds and pounds of broccoli, but the garlic will be good right into winter.
It's not exactly easy to grow, but it helps a lot that it's on its own schedule. You plant in late fall when you aren't doing much of anything else, and harvest in mid-summer, as soon as the foliage lies down. It does need some work though. It needs a good, loose, soil with lots of humus. I added sand to my patch to loosen it up, along with chicken shit. (Next year carrots will go in that location and the garlic will rotate elsewhere. Always a good policy.) It doesn't compete with weeds at all so you need to weed it assiduously, and it has small, shallow root systems so it doesn't like to be arid. On the other hand, I've never had any pest problems, and the creatures of the forest leave it alone.
It seems we import most of our garlic from China, which as far as I'm concerned is ridiculous. If you have 20 square feet, you can supply yourself.