I am going to do a series of posts about preserving the veggies we grow and composting the parts we don't use.
Today's post is about garlic. I'm starting with the spring plants. The green will grow to about 18- 24 inches tall. In early summer they will start to grow scapes on top. I don't have a picture of this but it will be a long curly sprout coming out the top with a seed on the end. You want to cut this off as early as possible where it comes out of the plant. This will help grow nice big bulbs. These scapes are edible and taste best when you clip them early. You can eat them raw but I prefer to sauté them with other veggies. They are really yummy in fried potatoes. Then when they are ready to pull up (when the greens are dying), brush off the dirt around the bulb and put them in a bunch and hang in a cool place for about 30 days! Cut off the stems and roots and any left over dirt and put them in a bag on a shelf in the basement. Check them throughout the year. If they are getting too soft, slice them up and put them in a 250 degree oven until kind of crispy and throw them in a coffee grinder for garlic powder. If you want course ground then use a food processor.
Now, in the fall take some nice cloves and dig a couple of rows in your garden or herb area about 4 inches deep. place the cloves about 6 inches apart with the root side down. Each little clove has a sprout top and a root bottom. Look closely and you will see. Make sure you use a nice big clove that is not soft or drying. Cover with dirt and some mulch or leaves and water. Keep semi moist until winter. In the spring, take off mulch and watch them grow. They probably will start growing before snow flies.
The best part......never buy garlic again. And it taste so much better then the stuff you buy at a store!
Stay tuned tomorrow for what I do with tomatoes!