Garlic Planting Day

This past Sunday was garlic planting day.  I had been waiting for the weather to cool off enough to plant.  Here in Western Maine the days have still be fairly warm–50’s and 60’s for the most part. Unseasonably warm for this time of year.  But now it’s getting cooler and I wanted to get it in before the ground really started to freeze. 

Last year was the first year that I grew garlic.  I planted German Extra Hardy which I bought at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine.  I think it grew beautifully.  I planted about 6 or 8 heads.  It grew very well in the raised bed that I prepared for it.  I replanted almost all of what I harvested.  I was given some other garlic this year too, though.  Red Russian.  7 heads of it.  Compared to the German, the Russian is HUGE.  I don’t know if it is just the difference in the varieties or if the Russian was just better grown by a garlic expert!  So now there is one long row/raised bed with Russian at one end and German at the other end. 

The planted row before covering with mulch hay.

German Extra Hardy Cloves
Red Russian Cloves
German and Russian side by side
Red Russian heads

Next year I should be have enough garlic to use as seed stock and to keep some for my own use.  The person that gave me the Red Russian said he started growing garlic 19 years ago with only 3 heads of this same variety.  Now he harvests about 2 bushels a year out of a bed the size of a couch–about 4″ by 8″–all from those same 3 heads.  I think I have a good start going!

A friend of mine calls growing garlic the best Ponzi scheme ever.  Let’s hope so!

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