Planting Bulbs this Autumn? Why not plant Garlic?
Planting garlic is easy: you need about a square-foot per plant in a fairly healthy soil (they like an acidic soil so, it you find clay in your ground that’s terrific!)
Choose a local garlic so it is used to your climate, pick a large, hard bulb, break it open into the individual cloves.
Plant the cloves (no need to peel them or prep them) with the root-side down, pointy end up, just a few inches or thumb-depth into the ground, cover up, keep the weeds clear, and watch them sprout during the winter.
Winter time: Russian Garlic sprouts!
The Garlic seems to need a good cold start in the ground. We have had snow, sleet and even a flood and the garlic just gets stronger!
Spring Time: Trim Garlic Scapes
In the Spring you will see the flower, called a SCAPE. It emerges with a beautiful, curly flourish. This should be clipped off, stem and all, in order for the bulb to gather more energy to flourish underground. The scapes are edible and taste, well, exactly like garlic!
Recipe ideas for Garlic Scapes include: roasting with veggies, mincing and add to salad dressing, mashed potatoes and minced scapes are delicious! Check out my cooking post for inspiration!
Summer Time: Garlic Harvest Season!
In July you will see the leaves dry and go brown. When the bottom leaves are brown and 3 or 4 green leaves are left, you will be ready to dig up the bulb! Be careful with the shovel, it is hard to guess how big the bulb is so dig carefully and release the bulb from the ground. Voila!
Store for Winter
Cut the stems about an inch from the bulb, trim the roots with good scissors, keep in a cool very dry place and let them cure a bit before bringing them into the warm kitchen. Save a few of the larger bulbs for planting in the Fall!