Thursday, October 14, 2010
Growing Garlic with My Pyrex Delphite
During a summer roadtrip to the Okanagan area, I purchased some locally grown Russian Red garlic. It had large cloves, a great taste, and a beautiful purple hue to its papery skins. I have seen fresh garlic at Farmer's Markets sell for between $2 to $2.50 per bulb, which is a bit tough to swallow for a thrifty buyer like me. The solution: Grow your own garlic!
I enlisted the help of my trusty Pyrex Delphite casserole bowl. The first task is to break apart the bulbs and select the large cloves. Large cloves will turn into large bulbs and have a higher success rate. Most gardeners recommend simply using the smaller cloves in your kitchen instead of the garden.
Of the four Russian Red bulbs that I had, I got about 20 cloves to plant.
Prepare your soil by loosening the dirt, and plant the cloves with the pointed ends up. They should be about 5" apart, and about 2" deep. Garlic is a heavy feeder and needs nutrient-rich soil that is well draining. Throw in some compost if you have it on hand.
I understand that during a cold snap, the garlic cloves turn into bulbs. These little guys stay in the ground till summer. The tops of the plants can be cut in the spring and used in various recipes, as these garlic "scapes" can be used for anything from pesto to stir-fry's. Later in the summer, when the stalks brown, they are ready to be pulled up and dried for use! Make sure to get these in the ground soon, for a garlic-y bounty in July!