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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things I Leared About Growing Garlic

Garlic in Spring
The last few years I have been growing garlic in my garden. 

Garlic is very easy to grow.  Each fall I plant a clove of garlic into the ground.  Each clove will give you a bulb of garlic.

As the garlic plant matures a garlic scape appears.  Garlic scapes are the flower of the garlic.  The scapes need to be cut off or you won't get any garlic, as all the energy of the plant will go to the scape (which turns in to garlic seed) instead of the bulb we eat.   I have let one garlic stalk go to seed just to see what it would do.   One plant produced about a 1/4 cup of garlic seed.   You can plant the seed, however you'll not see a decent size bulb for several years.

The scapes can be used in many ways.   The flavour is a mild form of garlic.  I've chopped them up and put into soups, sauces, stir frys, sauteed and used omeletes.   The scapes make wonderful soup and amazing pesto.  Check out my recipes folder for the soup and scape recipe.
Garlic Scapes starting to appear

Things I've learned about growing garlic:
1)  Plant garlic cloves in fall for following year harvest - garlic does best when given a winter chilling period before sprouting.
2)  Plant about 3 weeks before the 1st expected frost so the roots can get established enough to resist frost heave.
3) When planting garlic be sure to get from a garden center or locally grown farmers market or feed store. Grocery store garlic may not be reliable as they have been treated to prevent sprouting.
4)  Scapes need to be cut off in Spring to allow the bulb to grow
5)  Harvest time in southern Ontario - usually mid July.

Things I have learned about garlic:
1)  Garlic is a natural antibiotic
2)  Garlic is a proven antioxidant
3)  Eaten regularly can help reduce high blood pressure
4)  It's a natural insect repellent. 
5)  Added to recipes makes your recipe taste better
6)  Homegrown or locally grown garlic tastes so much better than the imported garlic.
Garlic Scapes
Garlic Scapes
Fresh Garlic - just picked early July

3 comments:

  1. Pretty much sums up all there is to know about garlic, Janet! I'm sure new gardeners will find your post very helpful. Can you believe that soon it will be time to plant garlic again? In spite of the miserable weather, summer is moving fast.

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  2. Mmmm, garlic!

    Just stopping by to let you know I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog and The Very Inspiring Blog Awards! Stop by my blog to accept in the comments and pass this along!

    http://littlehomesteadonthehill.blogspot.com/

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  3. Homegrown garlic is the best! Thanks for the look around :-)
    Greetings from Norway

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