November 17, 2013

Planting Garlic: cloves

Fall is garlic planting time and I've certainly indulged. Not only did I plant for Our Little Farm, but I helped plant about another 7,000 cloves for another farmer and this year I am turning my backyard garden into a mini garlic field!

In my garden, I planted the biggest, nicest cloves from the organic Music variety we grow at Our Little Farm. On top of that I planted cloves I was gifted - two other organic, heirloom varieties: Purple Haze and Artichoke. I also planted two heirloom varieties for a friend, Baba Franchaka and Gaterslaker (?).

Planting a clove leads to a cloning process so that next summer, I will be harvesting a full bulb of cloves identical to the first planted one. That harvest will come after I break off the curly garlic scape in mid summer to encourage the plant energy to accumulate in the bulb. If left on, the scape will flower and produce garlic bulbils. Planting bulbils is different than planting a clove, something I'll be talking about in a later post.

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