I feel a bit like a mother hen clucking over her babies. I don’t remember being this indecisive about pulling my garlic last year but then perhaps it wasn’t as wet. Every day I make a decision to let it grow a bit longer – garlic puts on most of its bulb growth pretty late on so leaving it in the ground until the last moment does seem to make a difference. But then it rains and I start to panic – will it rot, should I have pulled it yesterday when the weather was dryer? Are the bulbs big enough? Some are bending over – should I pull those and leave the rest…and on it goes…..
This is how some of my patch looked on Wednesday of this week:
As you can see the stalks are starting to yellow and some are falling over, but by no means all of them. To see if they were ready I pulled a couple that were falling over and that I’d accidentally planted much too close. The heads were nestled together but the cloves were pretty nicely developed although I do think they had a bit of growing left in them.
This year I planted my garlic on a 12cm grid in mid April. I planted a variety with the romantic name of: Italian (Common) (you’d think they could have done better than that with the name wouldn’t you?). I bought in seed garlic rather than using my own supply. I tend to do this every year as I have yet to grow enough to last a year. I would prefer to buy seed garlic from a local supplier to sow, rather than buying more foreign grown garlic to eat than absolutely neccessary. This year I ran out of garlic in July but I also sowed considerably more cloves. Last year I harvested 75 heads, but this year I have planted 114 cloves with a germination rate of pretty much 100%. I have used about 10 heads as green garlic so far so I should have about 100 heads to store.
3 weeks after sowing my garlic looked like this:
Its interesting to see how much of the mulch has rotted away in the 6 months between that shot and the most recent.
Since Wednesday we have had about an inch (25mm) of rain and as I mentioned I am a bit concerned about the bed getting waterlogged. As a result I rushed out in the rain in a panic and pulled a few more – the ones than were falling over the most. They were varying sizes but generally look pretty good:
The bed didn’t seem too wet and the stems still look pretty healthy so I think I can afford to leave the rest a little longer (fingers crossed and all that….).
The weather forecast for this week is for showers rather than rain (this often means they bypass Melbourne’s Northern suburbs in favour of the wetter Eastern suburbs). We are going on holidays for 2 weeks from next weekend so I think I will pull the rest next Friday before we leave and hang them to dry while we away and plait them upon our return. Nothing too dreadful can happen to them between now and Friday can it??????
P.S: now 30mm of rain and counting…….and they’ve changed their forecast for next week to possible thunderstorms Monday & Tuesday before Rain at times on Wednesday….I’ve started worrying again…….Arrrghhh!
P.P.S: 50mm and its starting to get a bit silly.