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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Garlic Harvest 2010

In a word, it was disappointing.

This is all of it. All six months of watering and taking care of it.  I was all excited pulling out the first nine or so, which are there in the lower right-hand corner.  But that was it for large, blue garlic.  The rest of the harvest pretty much looked like the stuff on the left.  I'm not at all sure how long this will last, but I think it's safe to say that I don't have a year's worth of garlic here.

Here's a comparison so you can see why I was excited at first, and why I was ultimately disappointed.  The stuff on the top of the picture was all I pulled out that was of decent size.  The stuff on the bottom pretty much represents the bulk of the harvest.  The variety I planted was called 'Oregon Blue', and I'm not at all sure why there was such a difference from one part of the planter box to the other.  The stuff that grew huge was by the carrots, but I don't know if there is some companion-planting thing going on or not. I'll have to read and find out.

Next year's garlic will be a variety called 'Music' (provided I can get it, of course) and I'll only plant the large cloves, and I'll work more compost into the soil and more greensand too.

And if I thought twirling around twelve times at midnight on a full moon with chicken bones in both hands would help, I'd probably do that, too.


Jennifer Montero said...

If it makes you feel any better, my entire garlic crop failed...well, disappeared thanks to a family of rats or mice who stole my planted cloves. I'm going to mutter curses under my breath every time I have to buy it at the store.

Carrot and onions are companions, so I expect all alliums go well with carrots. The onions confuse carrot root fly, but I'm not sure what benefit(s) the onion derives from the carrot.

Hopefully your crop is a case of "small is beautiful" and I expect the bulbs taste great!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Ooops - Did my last comment go through? I may have shut my page before it posted...

Farmgirl_dk: said...

I think my first garlicky comment disappeared - dangit!
One more time with feeling:

How disappointing, Paula!!
Here's a question for you, though... what did your stalks look like when you harvested? The majority of the garlic "leaves" should appear brown and dead prior to harvesting. My Oregon Blue and Music right now are still predominantly green (and I only recently cut the scapes off the Music!), so I know I've got at least another couple weeks to go before I dig them up.
Last year, I harvested on 7/19 and this year's weather has been so funky, it doesn't surprise me that it's going to be later than that.
I only just dug up my Chinese Pink, which is an early harvest variety.

Amy Manning said...

Yup, my garlic looks similar to yours. In fact, all of the garlic I bought from Portland Nursery completely rotted in our soggy wet winter and spring. Ironically, the garlic I saved from previous years survived, but it looks very wimpy.

Sucks. I'm used to very large harvests.

Paula said...

Oh crap! you mean I harvested too early?! Wailing and teeth gnashing!

I read that garlic is ready when the first couple of outside stalks are brown (they were) and I also noticed that the stalks themselves were starting to brown, so I yanked them.

Since you have waaaaay more experience with garlic than I do (it's your recommendation of Music that has me wanting to try it) I would defer to what you think I should have done. I can't help but think that my cultivation method may have had something to do with it. Or- maybe it was just the sucky weather.

How many heads did you plant? I only planted three, because that was all I had room for last winter. I've since read that carrots and alliums are good companions, so maybe I should try them together next year.

But now- I need to get outside and finish the irrigation before the hot weather hits tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

May I suggest you replant the best of those Oregon Blue.

In my experience, garlic need three years (at least) to acclimatise to new environment. I've had garlic strains almost extinct first season, to end up growing well after some years. Others might impress first year, and then just deteriorate from that point. I've learned not to judge a garlic strain for the first three years :-)

Paula said...

Good idea, toads- I'll try that.