Remember these?Garlic scapes are tall this year. Amazingly, some of ours grew over 6' high-- and the florets and bulbils are quickly developing. See these? They grew from a variety of garlic that offers larger bulbs than normal. Yours may be different in appearance; in our seed catalogs earlier this spring there were over **20 varieties of garlic offered .
|Immature Garlic florets with bulbils|
It won't be long before we get to plant the 'little bulbs' or bulbils. It is no longer necessary to buy garlic 'seed'.
Note the bulbils must be allowed to fully ripen for the best growth performance when planted .
After the skin on the florets begins to dry, splits, and the bulbils begin to ripen, it is time to collect them. Cut the scapes long, let them air-dry them carefully for a few days or a week. When dry, you can cut off the florets, separate the bulbils and plant them.
These bulbils in this photo will be the 'seed' or starters for a whole new generation and crop of top-quality, organically grown garlic.
The largest of the bulbils --like the beauties below-will be dried , separated and planted a couple or three weeks before the ground freezes hard.
These bulbils are almost a half inch in diameter.
Planting them this fall will result in some rounded garlic bulbs, (displaying no clove sections) next fall which can be planted again, -- or garlic bulbs with clove sections --which can be divided. Naturally, only the largest cloves will be replanted.
Two or three weeks after fall planting, if you happen to dig one of these bulbils up you'll see that a substantial root system has already developed, --which give the garlic plant a great head start for growth in the spring. The root system goes dormant when the ground freezes hard.
Ideally, for your area, remember to plant garlic with just enough time to allow development of roots without surface growth before the ground freezes solid. Why?
Top growth would simply die back when the ground freezes--setting the plants back and using up valuable energy from the bulb.
Smaller floret bulbils can be planted too, -- or simply peeled and frozen for cooking like any garlic clove.
While planting garlic bulbils, don't forget that it's also the right time to ripen and divide mature garlic bulbs you have harvested. Always be selective and plant the largest cloves for a wonderful crop again next fall !
**Don't be surprised if there's another update on Garlic. Why? We learn new stuff every day. So it goes with garlic, too!
At the Nolalu Market, a small, dedicated collection of growers and vendors sells fresh organic produce, baking and crafts every Friday evening. Recently I was fortunate enough to meet a new vendor that grows many varieties of garlic. He has a list of 40 or more !!
I only have TWO types under cultivation --- so far, that is!
Am I missing out on the potential genuine gusto of garlic or what? We'll certainly be remedying that situation! The challenge is on! How many varieties do we need? As many as possible!
More to come on that one for sure...more information, more varieties, and more gusto!
Is that Incoming I hear ?