21 March 2012
A Scientific Experiment
I was recently reading Veggie Gobbler's blog post on the secrets to growing successful garlic. I've grown it in the past, but my garlic has often been quite small and I've lost heads of it occasionally to rot, as well as pulled out several too early in my excitement to eat fresh garlic. We did have reasonable success in the Country Garden last year with it, but it does all seem a bit random.
So it got me thinking that this year I'm going to try to be a bit more scientific about growing it, and experiment to find out what works best. It's a long experiment, garlic seems to take forever to harvest and won't be ready until next summer, but hopefully it will be worth the wait. Here are the different conditions I'm going to try:
We have bought several early varieties from Diggers Club (Early White, Early Purple and Italian Red); some from my local farmers market (the name of which I can't remember, which I know isn't very scientific!) and will have access to some from a local commercial grower near the Country Garden. I was also planning to plant some of the cloves that we harvested last season, but what we have left are quite small, and one of the tips that was given on Veggie Gobbler's blog was that small cloves produce small heads of garlic, so I have decided not to do that, and will just enjoy eating them instead.
Planting locations and times:
We have already planted some of the Diggers cloves in the Country Garden, in one of the large garden beds (with great soil and drainage and weather protection) and in a polystyrene box. I'm about to plant the ones I bought at the farmers market (I promise I will try to find out their name at the next market!) in one of the City Garden's garden beds (with soil and drainage best described as average) and in a deep polystyrene box with potting mix. The others we will plant a bit later, in the Country Garden big garden beds.
I promise not to get over-excited and try to harvest anything until the shoots have all died down and it really is late enough in the season for them to be ready!
I'll report on my findings (in the interests of science!) at the end of the year when we harvest them.