Garlic. Just saying it’s name perks up my taste buds. To say I like garlic is a lie. To say I love garlic isn’t enough. How about, “Garlic is my hands down favorite herb/vegetable. Ever”. Did you know garlic is an herb AND a vegetable? Just one more reason to love it. “You eat your vegetables Niki Dee”? Yup, had me some Garlic.
Researchers have revealed that as allicin digests in your body it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts faster with dangerous free radicals, than any other known compound. ~Dr. Mercola
So it’s a bit of a surprise that I’ve never grown it. I know! But I am here today to rectify this terrible wrong. In my inimitable way (read: have absolutely no time to spare in my life right now) I grabbed a bag of garlic out of Gigi’s pantry (a pantry raid?) and set off with Maddi in tow to toss some cloves into the raised beds. One hundred and eleven of them. Gosh I hope they all come up!
Yes, there are rules in life. Like, “Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road” or “If you want the post office to deliver the mail you HAVE to put a stamp on it”. Words to life by. Really… try to send a letter without a stamp. See how far you get! But me being me… I tend to take the road less traveled, throw caution to the wind and typically break the rules (if you don’t get your Christmas card you’ll understand why). When I started gardening, I came to it slightly intimidated due to all the rules I read as I perused various articles and books. Then, true to nature, I just did what felt right and continue to do that to this day. So we will see if these cloves can handle a little rogue planting!
Planting garlic seems to be a straight-forward process. Plant 2” deep with flat side of clove down <– see green arrow and pointy part up <– see blue arrow. I’ve read to plant anywhere from 3” to 6” apart. I decided to use the shortest distance (3”) in order to plant the maximum amount of cloves in our raised planters. We’ll see if that’s too close or not next spring.
My friend told me to deter onion borers, use a bit of diatomaceous earth in each hole. I’m a big D.E. user so this was easy to do. Maddi and I also sprinkled D.E. on top of all our plantings before we covered with a healthy 8” of straw to over winter. We do get cold snaps, frost and a bit of snow on the farm. I plan on pulling back the straw in early spring and adding more D.E. to the top soil. I really don’t want to lose one of these precious cloves!
I can’t wait to see how this goes. If all goes well we will have yummy scapes to cook and eat along with our delicious garlic! Wait… Have you never eaten garlic scapes? Has this delicacy eSCAPED your notice? See what I did there?
Scapes are the long twisty things that appears from your growing garlic. If left to their own devices the scapes will turn into flower heads, steal the thunder from your growing garlic and in time, flower. I have no thought on planting garlic from seed and I suppose if I was the type to forfeit a few heads of precious garlic to have some of these flowers in the house that would be fine. But no. I will cut them off, before they flower and eat them. Just watch me. Well, you can’t right now, but I will show you how next spring. Ok? Ok.
Here’s a video I took of Maddi and I planting our first crop of garlic. If we can do it so can you!
Have you ever planted garlic or eaten scapes?