Friday, 23 April 2010

overwntering garlic

Things have moved on in our ten years of allotmenting.

When we began, one of the first things we planted was overwintering garlic. There are many varieties available now but we used thermidrome then - and that is one of the varieties we still use. Garlic has been a regular in our cycle ever since we began.

But it was a real surprise to have our garlic misidentified, by fellow allotment holders, all those years ago as a bed of gladioli. The leaves do have a similar appearance. We were surprised that garlic wasn't grown more widely.

There is a misunderstanding that a plant that we associate with the sun baked earth of southern Europe should be tender. Not so. This garlic is flourishing after our coldest winter in thirty years.

In some years, the spring and early summer conditions suit garlic better than others. I years when everything is just as the garlic likes we get big fat juicy cloves to hang in the greenhouse in a baking sun to dry. In poor years we have had some miserable little cloves. The unpredictability is part of the fun!

Garlic is now much more common on the allotments because it is so reliable and easy. And I haven't seen a vampire down there for some time either.

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