Inspired by another community gardener, I planted my first crop of garlic in October. Following Dana’s advice, I sought out the hard neck variety at a local gardening center and once planted, carefully covered the buried cloves with a pile of wood chips to protect it over the winter. Knowing that growing garlic is a long process , I patiently watched through the winter and spring when finally, the bulbous garlic scapes appeared. As advised, I cut off the garlic scapes to divert energy to the bulbs growing below. The garlic scapes added a nice flavor to several of my summer dishes.
After several weeks of watching the stalks dry in the ground, I decided to finally dig the garlic up today. I used a large shovel to dig deep below the bulbs. The bulbs were a little smaller than I anticipated but still, I could discern a cluster of hardy cloves. I brushed off the dirt, tied them up in bunches of 5 and hung them to “cure” on the pot rack in the kitchen. I am told that I should let them dry for about three weeks and then store them in a cold, dry place for use through the winter. We eat a lot of garlic in our home so this home grown crop will be a welcome addition to our recipes.