Saturday, July 5, 2014

Return on Investment - Growing Garlic

Last fall, I bought $15 worth of organic hardneck Siberian Red Chesnok garlic bulbs from the Today, I harvested my entire garlic crop.  About 30 garlic bulbs have grown from the initial two bulbs. This is a healthy ROI, return on investment!
Red Chesnok garlic
Red Chesnok garlic
Garlic is easy to grow in your garden. It likes sun, well-drained soil and regular watering.
October/November: plantingPlan ahead and you can plant some garlic cloves around Thanksgiving-time.
Split the bulbs into cloves and plant the cloves about 3 inches deep and 10 inches apart.
In the spring, the garlic sprouts leaves.
Garlic shoot
Garlic shoot
June: harvest and eat the ‘scapes’In June, you can harvest the flowerbuds: the ‘scapes’ of this hardneck variety.
Harvesting the ‘scapes’ ensures the food-energy from the leaves goes into forming the garlic bulb, rather than producing flowers.
Add washed and chopped ‘scapes’ to salads, omelettes and other dishes for flavor.
Garlic 'scapes'
Garlic ‘scapes’
July: dig up and store garlic bulbsToday, the garlic leaves are turning yellow.  And I dug up the garlic bulbs and hung them  in shady place. I will leave the bulbs to dry for 3 or 4 weeks, and then braid them and bring indoors.
Drying garlic
Garlic culinary and medicinal uses
Garlic has been a staple of Mediterranean, African and Asian cuisines for thousands of years, and is famous for its medicinal properties.  Today I made a stirfry flavored with our homegrown garlic and checked out garlic’s health benefits on wikipedia
October/November: replanting
In the fall, I can either replant some of these Red Chesnok garlic cloves – or I might try my luck and invest in growing another variety.

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