Tag Archives: early purple wight

Sinking Garlic Round three @TheGarlicFarm

With the weather being relatively mild, I have taken the opportunity to sink a third batch of Garlic. What you see above is the rather abundant crop from last year, and the foliage that the autumn planted garlic had sent up before Christmas.

The varieties that have been dibbed in are as follows:

  • Lautrec Wight
  • Early Purple wight
  • Solent Wight
  • Tuscany Wight

I had taken the decision to sink some more as it felt like I didn’t have as many cloves sunk as in previous years. This batch like the first batch sown in Autumn has been placed into raised beds. There is an additional batch that is open ground further up the plot to offer something of a a contrast. All of the garlic sown will get used, it is not as though there will spare unwanted garlic in the kitchen. I am sure that of the varieties sunk, some are old favourites and others are very new to the plot. Some of the varieties are quite mild, creamy cloves that you might need a few of on a dish. Others are thick cloves, very pungent and not necessarily needed in a great quantity. I do like the purple and pinked skinned ones though, these seem to have some character.

In my observations, garlic does take time to get going. This was often a cause for concern for me in the past, as I would worry that the cloves had  been sunk and didn’t appear to be doing anything at surface. What I hadn’t considered that below the surface the cloves were sending out roots and establishing a system to anchor themselves in and gain nutrients. Over the autumn months, slowly but surely the green foliage started to rise and poke through the soil. These are my observations with autumn planted garlic, I have only previously sown spring garlic once before. Even then, the open ground in which it was sunk was entirely boggy and not particularly conducive at that time to the garlic. I have waited to try again, and kept in line with previous experiences by planting into raised beds.

For me, having raised beds has been very useful. Cloves are still planted deep enough, with a hole made by a dibber and the tip only just being visible. Drainage is improved and there is reduction in the likelihood of water pooling around the clove, collecting and causing the seed to rot. That said, cloves of garlic do appear to be fairly resilient, and the garlic sunk into open ground is only a matter of weeks behind that sat in the raised beds. The foliage is present and correct, just a little shorter. If it is difficult to have raised beds, I see no reason why garlic can’t be sown in containers. In fact, the first time that I grew onions and shallots; they were sown into and grown in containers.

#NABLOPOMO: Garlic Planting part two @TheGarlicFarm

The second batch of garlic is from The Garlic Farm. This summers crop was by far one of best I have had had, so for me having them again was really a good way of trying to replicate that success for next year.  Hopefully it will be just as successful. I was really surprised, and impressed, by the size of the bulbs that cropped. Also there is a real and definite difference in the flavour and strength of home grown garlic compared to that bought in the supermarkets.

I have chosen the garlic lovers collection from them this year. This batch of garlic contains:

  • Red Dontesk
  • Tuscany wight
  • picardy wight (I had to resist saying ‘make it so’ as i planted this one)
  • Vallelado wight
  • early purple wight (we’ve had this one before)
  • Provence wight
  • Solent wight

This batch has been sunk into two raised beds. I had thought that I had too much garlic. As though such a thing might be possible! The worry had been that there wasn’t space. Turns our there was enough space and more. I have saved the elephant garlic to share with my aunty, for some reason it bolted on my plot this year.

At least now all of the autumn garlic has been planted. May be, just maybe, I might try a spring batch.

#NABLOPOMO: Garlic growing good

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#NABLOPOMO April 201 starts today and the theme is Grow. Seems fairly apt for a blog that centers on growing your own fruit and vegetables.

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Garlic, this is something of an update. I have a number of varieties that are currently growing. These are::

  • Early Purple wight
  • Lautrec Wight
  • Elephant garlic
  • Provence Wight

Other than the odd weed, the garlic seems to be doing okay. The green shoots appear to be strong and robust. With he wind of the last 24 hours, they are probably little wind scorched today.

This crop was sunk in the autumn last year. Here in England, sowing garlic happens-in my experience-from about October onwards, and then can also be done during the following spring months. In my experience, I have found that sowing garlic in October, and in raised beds, is a more effective, and produces a reliable crop. In comparison, sowing into open ground, and I have heavy clay, has not been as effective. They require little maintenance, and are pretty much left to their own devices.

In years passed, I have sunk a lot of garlic. Mostly to see which varieties produce the most bulbous, most garlick-y of bulbs. We use a lot garlic in Ma’s kitchen, most of her cooking has garlic in it, so it is always used. I think I even have a large jar of pickled garlic, somewhere in Ma’s pantry. There are of course, also a number of health benefits associated with it.

The seed garlic that I have sown, is from The Garlic Farm on the isle of wight. I know that some growers do tend to use the sprouting garlic that they may have lurking in the back of their cupboards. I’m not sure if this is a good way cultivation, since I have never done that. Some of the garlic that we buy in the supermarkets is better suite to different climates and is commercially produced.

Garlic update March 2015

It’s been a long time since I wrote about the garlic that was planted during the autumn last year. You can find that post here where I planted it.

The varieties are:

  • Early Purple wight
  • Lautrec Wight
  • Elephant garlic
  • Provence Wight

Generally, I will plug it in, and then pretty much leave it alone. Such is the beauty of planting garlic, other than feeding during the spring and weeding from time to time, I have observed that not much else is needed. In the past, I have grew it both in open ground and also in raised beds. In my experience, planting and growing in raised beds has produced a bigger and better crop compared to growing in the open ground.

So far so good, I will  have to feed these in the coming weeks. At this moment, the need to weed isn’t too bad. There is nice green foliage that has some way to go before it is shows that the bulbs are mature. The full maturity is indicated when the foliage becomes raffia like and pale, it also keels over in some cases.

#NaBLoPoMO: Planting Autumn Garlic 2014

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Once again, I am planting garlic. I have already planted one batch of Provence wight into a raised bed. So today, I have plugged in garlic into a second bed. A third has been prepared and tidied up as I might plant some more yet. Every year, I try to identify and plant an appropriate variety. it’s been fun trying to establish the best, the results have been quite interesting. The one key finding, is that raised beds are beneficial. In the past, the cloves planted into raised beds have been bigger and more flavoursome. By that, I mean pungent!

On the other hand, cloves plugged into open ground, have been much smaller. Ma has complained that these are then very difficult to peel and prepare. You would easily use a dozen of those smaller cloves in the place of three larger ones.

Beyond the Provence wight, I am also trying Elephant garlic this year. It is technically, a leek with garlic tendencies, The first that I have tried this, and the difference is already clear in the size of the cloves.

The garlic arrives in bulbs, as you can see. This year, I have found some from http://www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk/ I was impressed by the size and quality of these. As well as the fact that this is a nice autumnal collection. Whilst there were three loose elephant garlic cloves, the rest of the bulbs are broken down into singular cloves. These cloves are then plugged into the dirt, with only their tip exposed.

Many people, will use supermarket garlic. There has to be caution with this, I think, In some cases, the garlic is for different climates and may not necessarily take off. I’ve never done it, but that’s not to say it can’t be done or isn’t successful.

In the past, when there has been an abundance of garlic, some the crop has been pickled. Rather nice actually, and has kept rather well. The majority has been used successfully in cooking. There is just something about fresh, home grown garlic. It certainly keeps longer, and definitely tastes different.

Overwintering allium

It is that time of year again; where over wintering alliums get sunk.

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And this year we have a few Varieties

Shallots:
Yellow moon
Griselle

Garlic:
Early purple wight
Purple wight
Solent wight
Sultop
Valyo

Onions:
Electric
Senshyu
Radar

All of the garlic has been planted yesterday. Checking my notes, that is a year to the exact day that I planted it last year. One batch of yellow moon and griselle have also been planted. There is still quite a few left to plant.all being well, this will be done in the next week or so.

Solent wight was planted in raised beds. This year, carrying out a bit of an experiment.

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The garlic has even sank through cardboard on project othello. Hoping that this will stop the rain eating it all. In addition the cardboard will reduce the weeds that might crop up.