Special Interests - Groups & Societies > The Old Fashioned Way

Growing Garlic

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Joyce (AnnieLee):
Del can probably post the historical aspects of garlic, he'd know it better than I do, I just use the stuff!

I like fresh garlic and use a lot of it. But I had always thought it was something that would only grow in California or something. But one year I was out shopping for my fall flower bulbs at a local shop. It's one of those "Mom and Pop" home gardening stores that's closed on Sundays.  (It also carries home brewing supplies) Much to my surprise, they carried garlic bulbs for planting! I had to give it a try.

Growing garlic takes patience more than anything else. It takes well drained soil, and does well in sandy soil. Plant it in the fall (about six inches apart), then wait. It'll send up a shoot, much like an onion, in the fall. Ignore it. The shoot will die back in the winter and disappear. Ignore that, too. That just means the bulb has established itself in the ground and is a good sign. It'll send up a new shoot in the Spring. Kinda ignore that one too, just wait. When the wet of spring is over, start watering the shoot/stalk once in a while, and almost ignore it, but watch it. It might grow to about 3-4 feet tall. ( Don't measure it, that's not ignoring it, that's being impatient!)

When the shoot gets that funny looking, bulb shaped thing on the top of it that kinda looks like something from the Taj Mahal.... still wait, but watch it more closely and keep watering it. When the bulb thing goes into flower, and looks like a pretty, alien starburst, your garlic is ready. When you dig it up, don't dig straight down or you'll bruise the cloves. Dig around it and pop up the bulb, then brush it off. If dirt still clings to it, you can wash it off. Then hang it up until the stalk is dry. Your garlic is ready for use!

If you grow a bunch of it, you can braid the stalks of them together before they dry. Then you can hang it up in your kitchen to impress your Yuppy friends. It likes to be stored in a cool, well ventilated place. The fridge isn't the best place for it because the damp air will fool it into thinking it's been planted and it will try to send shoots.

It's very, very good!



Prof. A. Wickwire:

Thanks for the garlic growing tips.  The only problem I have is that up here (northeastern New York) is the cold winters seem to kill the plants.  But it could be the soil is not right instead.


Prof. A. Wickwire

As a rule in period cooking if you are from the Meditterranian region including all of France, it is food.  If you are from the British Isles it is medicine.  If you From Nothern and Eastern Europe it is both food and medicine. 

Here in Nebraska it was a popular part of gardens of folks fron Czechaslovakia, Poland and Germany.  There are garlic patches around here that are claimed to be Great, Great Grandma's original patch she brought with her from the "Old Country."

I bought a bunch of garlic at the store in 1983 and planted behind my shed, just spaded it and poked them in.  I was two miles north of the salt flats and it did weel up on the hill. even with -25 weather.  I now live on the salt flats and have a little topsol, brought in when the house was move in.  The only thing I can get to grow are roses and iris and wild flowers. 

So I now buy it.


Silver Creek Slim:
We planted it a couple years ago and our cats (or something) kept digging it up.  ::)


Steel Horse Bailey:
Think of the Vampires it keeps away! ::)


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