Are your garlic plants looking a little yellow? Will a cold, damp spring bring molds? What can you do if there are problems? What are the signs to look for? Let's weigh our options and figure out the best ways to prevent diseases.
Bees, bee plants, rainwater catchment, spiral gardens, scything, mulching, garlic, unusual fruits, perennial vegetables: here is what worked (or NOT) in our garden last year. Incorporating ideas for 2014….
How much garlic you should grow? How much space do you need? Mulch? Till? Tools? How do you build beds? A few practical things about answering these important garlic-planting questions and preparing ground, particularly under less-than-ideal conditions.
Garlic Planting Conundrums, Part 2, in which we ask, where can you fit garlic in a permaculture landscape, what about companion planting with garlic, and what is the most efficient way to grow really great garlic?
The 2013 garlic harvest is IN and lookin' good! However (and this is a big however), quantities are limited. I cut back on both the number and varieties of bulbs this year. This blogpost givesa few reasons why. If you are in the Sequim, WA area, we still have some for sale, while they last!
Critical time in the garlic patch! Yellow tips? Yellowing leaves? How much to water? Fertilizer? Cut the scapes or not? When to harvest? Part science; part experience; part juju. I hope we can answer your questions.
It’s officially spring and that means the beginning of Panic Season! So much to DO! Here is one more urgent task on your to-do list: WEED YOUR GARLIC. Early Spring is the most important weeding you will EVER DO in your garlic bed - and here is why.
Time to get that garlic in the ground if you haven't already! Need garlic? We still have some! Want a tool to make the planting easier, faster, & more uniform? We have just the thing! Need planting tips? Look no further!
What's Wrong with My Garlic? Does your garlic have yellow-tipped leaves, signs of mold and rot, falling over stems, thirsty insects sucking the living juice right out of the plants? If you don't think you have problems, after reading this, you might change your mind.
It's been awhile since I've played harmonica for the ol' garlic patch (or at least shared it). We are bringing her into the kitchen for her own protection… bwahahahaha
I am getting lots of questions about where we're at with the garlic - when we'll have bulbs for sale - and how about the bulbils? Here's my final, not-so-final, wishy-washy answer to predicting the future.
A short post to give you an update on the status of Barbolian Fields garlic and a couple of thoughts about the value of taking plant surveys.
Mid-February and the garlic is UP! Tallest in the patch is the Chinese Pink, a Turban variety, but all varieties are making a showing. These hardy little bulbs can handle the rough weather ahead. Just be careful with the mulch!
February is a weird month - we get a little bit of everything in the weather department. We do a lot of fantasizing through seed catalogs and are anxious to get our hands back in the dirt. When the winter blues & blahs get you down, our latest kale recipe, "Death by Garlic, Revived by Kale," is sure to bring you around.
What's to salvage out of a garden hammered by winter storms? Italian Lacinato (or Tuscan) Kale stands strong! Here's a great recipe for Chicken-Kale-Cauliflower casserole (with a fair amount of garlic, of course!)
I tried a little unconventional approach to this year's garlic garden. I built the beds in a series of circles around nitrogen-fixing shrubs and a meandering form that looks a lot like my life - er, I mean, a whirligig. Whatever. I was lost.
We still have lots of garlic! In trying to set up a storefront, I wiped out my page that lists them. If you're looking for great garlic to plant or to eat, shoot me an email and I'll get back to you. It might take me awhile to find a fix!
Got garlic? We do! Need some? Contact me! This post lists what's left...
Got garlic? One can never have too much. See what it's like to be surrounded by about 1000 bulbs and over 130 pounds of this fragrant stuff -- swooooon...
Our garlic harvest was a full month later than in some years, but yes – the garlic is in and hanging in the shed – AND THE GOOD NEWS IS: IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!
Snowstorm in the PNW! The garlic is under a blanket. Here's a good recipe for a simple high-energy food mix for the birds.
Garlic is up and growing strong! This year, we did not apply mulch to the garlic beds. Mulch is the new mantra for a lot of people - we say, that depends...
No time to lose! You still have time to harvest things to use in making gifts from the garden. Holiday gift ideas include seed sharing, taking cuttings for propagating plants, herb blends, food treats, an assortment of crafts, and a recipe for calendula salve.
Frost is on the pumpkin and it's time to plant garlic! I am going back to basics this year - keeping it simple. This post is all about planting garlic: planning, building beds, enriching the soil, planting, and mulching.
We have artichokes! Celebrate by making your own aioli - basically garlic, lemon juice, egg yolks, and olive oil blended together in a smooth mass - to transport yourself into some other realm. It is a night and day difference from the stuff you buy in a jar called mayonnaise. Artichokes - extraordinary thistle that they are - are the perfect partner to this excursion into a gastronomic swoon.
We delve deeper into the whys of a poor garlic crop this year, and although I highly suspect it was a combination of a long wet winter and spring, incessant strong winds, and too thick a mulch, I thought it might be a good idea to buy an NPK soil-test kit and see what the soil could tell me.
Think your garlic crop is a disaster? Look again. There might be something worth saving.
A sad farewell to my garlic crop, which did not do well this year. And a thank you to all the frogs that spontaneously joined me in my song.
A little retail therapy helped offset the dreary weather and having to face a very poor garlic crop. Sad day. Looking for some bright spots amidst a lot of bulbs that rotted in the ground. Looking for reasons why. Even after over 30 years of growing this stuff, gardening is always such a learning process, huh.
In this post, I confess to having a serious case of scape envy, based on reports I am getting from others whose garlic plants are already producing those delectable scapes. Want to know the difference between scapes, scallions, and "green garlic" and how elephant garlic fits in to this picture? I'll try to unravel some of that for you. And if you're wondering what to do with your scapes, stay tuned for my upcoming cookbook!
If you've tucked your garlic in under mulch for the winter, now is the time to pull back the blanket and let the sun shine in. Early spring is a time of intense change for the garlic plants, and when they first come up, they are hungry! Have pity and don't make them search for food! This post is about the special needs of garlic in early spring and how to care for them.
Progress reports from Pennsylvania and the Mojave Desert: Barbolian garlic is thriving across the country! Plus a little philosophical wandering into how the Internet, gardens, and garlic can reconnect old friends and make new ones!
The garlic is growing strong at Barbolian Fields! We applied a heavy layer of mulch at planting time, and it appears to have done a good job of protecting the bulbs from the series of winter freezes and thaws and also preventing erosion of the beds when we got a lot of rain. Looks like a good crop this year if all goes well!
Countdown to Christmas! Here are 20 ideas of easy, last-minute gifts you can make from your garden!
Garlic has been named the Best Performing Asset in China this year, outperforming gold, silver, oil, and real estate, a consequence of supply and demand and the H1N1 flu epidemic scare. If you're looking for good garlic, though, the very best can be found at home. Buy local.
It is not too late to plant garlic! This post discusses pros and cons of planting early or late. A detailed description is given on how to plant garlic, including planning, building beds, pre-plant techniques, spacing, and mulching. It is based on my over 30 years of growing garlic in the Northwest.
The garlic has matured a little early this year due to the warm weather. We are harvesting our first garlic nearly 2 weeks earlier than usual. When to water and when to harvest is always a balancing act when it comes to garlic.
Spring is a busy time to get the garden in shape before planting. Garlic is up and so are the weeds! Efforts now to get rid of the weeds will pay off with big garlic bulbs later! Also time to fertilize the garlic with a little side-dressing of blood meal for a nitrogen boost. Seaweed and fish fertilizer foliar sprays also strengthen the plants. Raised beds are a real advantage to early growth.
Welcome back New Garlic Shoots! Welcome back Garlic Lovers!
Hmmm…I seem to have figured how to get my pictures back up on my posts, although not necessarily where I want them. After my recent WordPress upgrade, I have had a few problems. Hopefully this will be fixed soon, but in the meantime, please put up with this amateur hacker!
Brrr! It is frosty outside! As you know, January and February can be a real mixture of weather, and here in the Pacific Northwest, we are no exception. The rain and snow this year for us were a statistician’s dream. Even without extremes, storms regularly blow in off the west coast with winds strong enough to break trees, while other afternoons can be deceivingly warm with the promise of spring. Then the nights freeze solid again, glare ice coats the roadways, and thick frost ices every nook and crevice.
It might be a time for us to hunker down inside, but things are happening in the backyard garlic patch! Tender garlic shoots are bravely poking through the soil. Trust me on this. Look closely. I DO SEE GREEN!!!
They seem so exposed – so vulnerable. I did not mulch. There is no snow cover for protection….
I encourage them to be strong.
And in the meantime, I have had several discussions with fellow gardeners over the past few weeks about mulching, watering, the bed/no-bed dilemma, irrigation, building the soil, which varieties of garlic are best, other good crops, and an assortment of innovative gardening ideas. I will be posting on these in the near future as the growing season kicks in.
Thanks for visiting my site – and please come back – come back often! And I sure hope I can get this little snafu fixed!
Hooray! The garlic is harvested and is now 2 weeks into the curing process.
What do 1300 bulbs of hanging garlic look like?
Granted, by some standards, that is not a lot. But for me – and for many who buy a few bulbs now and then – it’s like, wow – over one thousand bulbs!
How to describe what it is like to step into a small room, surrounded by hanging garlic, and inhale the dense pungent aroma …
It makes you slip into visions of roasted bulbs, garlic bread, rich sauces, stir fries, pestos, tapenades ….
It’s enough to make one swoon ….
Do we have to wait?
Despite the cold spring here in the Pacific Northwest, the garlic has been thriving! We got everything weeded over the weekend and thoroughly watered. You can almost feel them reaching upward, waiting for that promised sunshine!
As you can see from the photos, I planted the garlic rather densely in beds (4 rows/bed) this year, which has really facilitated the weeding, fertilizing, & watering tasks! The picture in the lower right quadrant shows 2 plots in the background that were recently tilled under — I had grown a green manure crop of a combination of clover, vetch, and ryegrass; I will be planting them again soon with more of the same; these will be garlic beds for next year and 2010. Yes, those are the Olympic Mountains in the background. Gorgeous morning!
Also pictured are the tall spikes, often called “spears” of the elephant garlic. The hardneck varieties send smaller shoots, called “scapes”; pictured are the tight-curling scapes of the rocambole hardnecks. I have been cutting these off (yes! you can have some if you are in the neighborhood!) and using them in pestos, salad dressings, & stir fries. They also add an unusual touch to floral arrangements. I am making some garlic hummus to bring to a barbecue this weekend, and am thinking about how the scapes might be quite beautiful pickled in a jar! Mmm!
I figure bulb harvesting is about a month or so away (a little late this year). I may get one more watering in, but will stop the water after that, which will help prevent molds and extend the shelf-life of the bulbs.
We might hit 70 today when the official summer starts at 4:30 today! That is welcome news for those of us who have been wearing sweatshirts all spring! Celebrate the solstice!
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you know we’re still waiting for this season called spring and it’s almost summer! The cold temps have delayed most crops – but I have to say, the lettuce, spinach, peas, mustards, parsley, potatoes, rhubarb, and garlic are thriving! (And so are the weeds!)
Garlic scapes are a little slow this year, but I see elephant spears are starting to shoot straight up, which means the curly scapes from the gourmet hardnecks are not far behind.
If you haven’t tried scapes, they are a real treat. Milder than the bulbs, they are perfect in pestos, lightly steamed with other veggies (a perfect match with asparagus!), or with pasta, seafood, eggs – well, I might be biased, but just about everything!
Keep in mind that cooking will lessen (some would say “mellow”) the flavor. Use raw for full strength. For cooked dishes, I generally chop them up and toss them in at the last minute. If you let them sit a few minutes after slicing, the enzymes in the garlic react and create chemical compounds (allicin and ajoene) that provide more health benefits.
Contact me at blythe [at] barbolian [dot] com or 360-681-3891 for availability.
YES! I am open to trades & barters!