Two weeks ago I harvest and clean the garlic crop and set it to dry. Hardneck garlic is not braidable so the next step is to clip the stalks/stems off. Heads that have damaged cloves may get moldy so I set them aside to use immediately or discard. I store the clipped crop uncovered in boxes, baskets, or mesh onion bags that I save from the store to let the heads breathe.
I don’t compost garlic as it’s got something in it that isn’t good for dogs and I don’t want another trip to the emergency vet (90 minutes from here) when GP ate something that was toxic to her when I was turning compost and I almost lost her.1
I don’t know how many head I harvest but it is well over two-hundred…all propagated from one head that I planted six years ago. I don’t recall the name of the hardneck variety so I call it John’s Big Red—named after Duncan’s dad who gave it to me. If stored in a dry place, this harvest will see me and Duncan & Olivia through until about May…plus there is enough to share with friends.
At a potluck last night, I gave out some heads with my easy-peasy instructions for planting and growing to friends so they can propagate their own crops, too.
KATE’S EASY PEASY DIRECTIONS FOR GROWING GARLIC
PLANTING AND GROWING
Plant the biggest and best cloves in October to the depth of 2.5 times the height of the clove. (Ex. If the clove is 1” tall, you would plant it to a depth of 2.5”.) Plant the pointy end up and the root end down.
Harvest when nearly all the leaves are brown usually late July or early August.
Fall rain, winter snow, and spring rain pretty much take care of the irrigation it needs, but I do water once or twice if needed. Two to four weeks before harvesting, I cut back on all watering.
RECIPE: ROASTED GARLIC
From: Home Cooking with Kate McDermott
If you missed getting this book when it first came out in 2018, it’s full of the recipes I made for my family for decades, plus there are lots of stories for you, too. This amazing review of Home Cooking brought tears to my eyes when I first read it and still does today.
Now on to the recipe…