Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

 Allium sativum

Common Softneck garlic

A member of the lily family

  Related to shallots, garlic-chives, and leeks. 

(Elephant garlic is a type of leek)

Last fall my husband picked up 5 cloves of garlic for a $1 at a local produce stand.  These were the common white skin softneck garlic usually grown in the US (mostly grown in California, Louisiana, and Texas). Curious to see if it would grow, I planted the cloves of 1 bulb.  The problem with store bought garlic is that it may be treated with a sprout inhibitor.  This inhibitor interferes with the natural growing cycle of the garlic. 

Softneck garlic is easy to grow producing many small cloves per bulb.  They grow well in a variety of soils and climates but lack the complex flavors of hardnecks.  Softnecks store longer then hardnecks after harvesting.

Harvest garlic when 2/3 of the lower leaves have browned.  Do not wait until the entire plant has browned since this may lead to split bulbs or possible disease.  In my case, I came home one night to find that all the softnecks had fallen over, brought on from a heat wave. 

When ready to harvest, gently lift the garlic out by digging underneath the bulb with a garden fork or shovel, removing the entire plant.  Once harvested, dry or "cure"  the plants for 3 to 4 weeks to prepare for use and storage.


No comments:

Post a Comment