from the ground up

Update: Garlic

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Several months ago, garlic kickstarted our garden and our blog. Garlic is easy, versatile, and so rewarding. Since then, the summer heat has become thick around us, weeds have grown sky high and I have completely ignored my garlic.  But, while contemplating our garden last week, my husband cautiously asked  “What do you think is the matter with our garlic?  It looks like it’s dying.”

“It is dying…..back.  It’s ripe!” I said to him, easing his fear that our garden has a failing crop!  It is ready to be gently tugged from the soil.  Of course, not without a little help from my assistant.

Last fall, we planted garlic in one small area of the gardenIt was haphazardly poked into the ground on two sides of a flower bed, leaving ample room in the center for some cutting flowers.  Unfortunately, it was a hurried, last ditch effort to get some garlic bulbs in the ground with snow on the way.  At the time, I was relieved to know it was buried under the soil.  Now, I am thinking this was not nearly enough for our garlic-loving family.  So, plans for autumn are formulating.  More on that later!

This flower bed turned garlic bed lies just outside my greenhouse.  The stature of the garlic varies significantly from one side of the bed to the other.  We are intrigued by this.  Wondering if it is the variety that we planted (and did not document- phooey!) or whether it has more to do with extra watering.

The left side of the bed, below, receives a lot of extra attention.  Extra water from our watering cans, pruning and weed pulling while customers shop in the greenhouse, and of course the constant “Can I water these again, mama?” queries from the 5-year-old master-of-the-hose.  I am betting on this extra love being the difference.

Now the garlic is up, curing in a cool, dry place.  When it is dry, we’ll shake loose the dry soil and store it away in our pantry.  There, it awaits a gentle crush into a batch of green pesto or a hearty winter soup.

Stay tuned for an autumn field trip to buy garlic from a dear friend.


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