All About Garlic: Wonderful article.

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All About Garlic

By wildflowers
October 5, 2011

Garlic is one of my favorite flavorings to use in the kitchen and one of the easiest of all the herbs to grow in the garden. If you absolutely love the smell and flavor of fresh garlic, or have ever considered growing your own garlic, this fall would be a really good time to plant some cloves. It takes little effort to grow them yourself and you will be rewarded with juicy and flavorsome bulbs.

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Name: Tami Smith
Naylor, GA (Zone 8b)
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mollymistsmith
Oct 4, 2011 9:59 PM CST
Thank you for such an informative article. I am going to have to plant me some garlic. I love garlic. Yum! Smiling Group hug
Tami
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Oct 5, 2011 5:07 AM CST
thanks.. will be planting some!!
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Oct 5, 2011 5:33 AM CST
Thank you Tami and Allison!

There's still time, I haven't planted yet either - but I will be soon! Smiling
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Oct 5, 2011 8:04 AM CST
Great article. I have garlic that comes up every year. Dig some of it up and dry it in the greenhouse...and forget it every year. When I finally remember to check it, I'm leery of eating it! How long do you dry yours before using it?
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Oct 5, 2011 10:43 AM CST
Hi Sandi, and thank you. I dry it anywhere from a few days to months. I still have some hanging in my utility room from June, when harvested, and its still in good shape for eating. If it has a thicker outer layer of paper, it will last longer but as long as it's still hard (w/o all those brown spots) it's still good!

There is a "black garlic" that is soft and delicious, used by gourmet chefs. It's fermented garlic, I've seen some recipes to make your own on line & I'm wanting to try to see if I can accomplish this. Sticking tongue out
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Oct 5, 2011 12:40 PM CST
Thanks for info. I'm afraid mine has gone to the compost heap. I'll always have next spring, though!
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Oct 5, 2011 12:52 PM CST
Thank you so much for this wonderful article.

I love love love garlic and even keep a small dish of sauted garlic in refrigerator at all times to add to whatever I'm cooking. To me, a meal isn't properly cooked without garlic Big Grin

Thanks again! Thumbs up
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
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goldfinch4
Oct 7, 2011 1:45 AM CST
I agree I also love garlic and you've inspired me to try growing my own. Thanks for the great article!
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Oct 7, 2011 7:40 AM CST
Thank you Vic and Chris!!

I am the same, we have garlic everyday around here! Even some crushed garlic in olive oil to dip your bread in is a wonderful thing! Yum!

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Katie
Stafford, VA (Zone 7a)
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gonegardening
Oct 15, 2011 8:12 PM CST
Good for you! I love love love garlic and have grown some in my garden for a number of years. I'm impressed that you got grocery store garlic to grow as often it is treated. But, whatever works!

There is nothing like fresh garlic! And, yes, there are differences in taste and also in how long they will store. I've always heard not to leave your garlic in the sun to dry as the cloves can actually cook...but, maybe it's just hotter where I am.

My favorite sources for seed garlic are Filaree Farm and Territorial in Washington and Oregon, respectively. You gotta get a Filaree catalog; it's a wealth of great information plus there's usually a chart in the back to help with when to harvest as garlic can be early (even very early) to mid to late. Here's a link to Filaree's website (http://www.filareefarm.com/) as it has lots of good info, too. I highly recommend either of these sources as they consistently send wonderful garlic (not my experience with some other places...).

Like other fall planted bulbs, I place my order in spring for best choices/selection. I tend to order too much...lol...as when I order I am longing for gardening season to begin. This year, I was able to share some with a good friend/neighbor who also loves to garden...I can't wait for her to grow and try 'gourmet' garlic....it's so fun! Some of the cloves have brilliant color (the wrappers) and some of the hardnecks have enormous sized cloves (because they tend to have less cloves in a head).

I'm not sure about the Chinese connection....as when I receive my garlic from the above sources (VERY reputable), they are always groomed and cleaned. I once attended the Gilroy Garlic Festival and it was great fun; however, the Pacific Northwest grows awesome garlic, too....and there are garlic collectors all over.

It's a neat neat plant to grow....you'll enjoy it very much....the varieties that scape will win you over (the scape is edible if you pick it while still soft)...the scape will curl around and then straighten up nice and tall! That's if you don't cut them off, of course. Some do, thinking it will make for a larger head.

I've already got my garlic planted (while numerous other fall garden chores are still to be done...)....I'll see if I can upload some pictures...it's already coming up!

By way of explanation....I am daylily person (and you know how we are...lol)...my garlic is planted along the edges of one of my seedling beds. That's what you see in the background, just fyi...daylily seedlings...


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Close up to follow...
Name: Katie
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gonegardening
Oct 15, 2011 8:14 PM CST
Okay, this is Khabar...just coming up...already!
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Name: Katie
Stafford, VA (Zone 7a)
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gonegardening
Oct 15, 2011 8:17 PM CST
This is a very early variety....it's the earliest one I've ever grown...however, I'm trying a couple of other early ones this year, so we'll see....

Chinese Pink


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Name: Katie
Stafford, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Virginia Bulbs Lilies
Region: United States of America Hellebores I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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gonegardening
Oct 15, 2011 8:19 PM CST
Those pictures were taken today (101511)...excited to see my garlic coming up!

One last one...just for grins...this is a picture of my Filaree order for this year that i posted on my blog...


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Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
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MaryE
Mar 8, 2013 1:06 PM CST
I dry my garlic in the shade, hanging from the rafters. All the commercial growers use darkish sheds for drying, and say that drying garlic in sunlight causes a bitter taste. I'm quite new at this, but did well with my crop of elephant garlic last year, selling enough to pay for my original investment, supply myself with seed stock, and invest in some new varieties. One of them is Chinese Pink, a softneck I hope to braid. It was the only one that decided it needed to grow after I planted it in mid October. I also have Persian Star which I grew last year from seed stock supplied to me by my neighbor who grows commercially, and I bought a pound each of two other varieties from Territorial Seed, and one from another local grower, all hardnecks.
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Mar 10, 2013 9:12 AM CST
Hi Mary, that's great to break even on costs. I'm pretty sure I at least save money by growing my own garlic; they sure do taste better and I know they are grown organically.

I'm growning several new varieties again this year, one is called California Early White softneck garlic, and I am hoping to practice my braiding with it. My favorite last season was called Cheznok Red; I only saved one bulb to plant, it was so tasty.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Thumbs up
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

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