Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Garlic Harvest 2009

I like to grow garlic. A lot.

This year, I planted 10 different varieties between October and December. Some were new to me, some were old standbys. After I dug them, I tied them up, marked them with a postit note with the name and date harvested, and hung them in the basement. Most of them are still there (keeping the onions and potatoes company as they all cure together).

Here is a rundown (hardnecks are in Red, softnecks are in Blue):
Old Standbys:
  • Siberian: Planted 32, harvested 30. Usually my biggest heads (once had 2 heads 4 inches across), but this year they were small. If I get some nice sized cloves I'll plant from this year's stock, otherwise I'll order new planting garlic.
  • Music: Planted 30, harvested 23. Not bad this year, but I left them in a little long and the paper was starting to break up. One was buggy. Nice size.
  • Applegate: Planted 24, harvested 23. Good size, will plant again.
  • Kettle River Giant: Planted 16, harvested 8. Again, not a great year. Lost 50%, and they weren't no 'giant.'
  • Shantung Purple: Planted 16, harvested 12. Great size, very respectable.
Newer Additions:
  • French Tarne: Planted: 6 Harvested: 6. Total bust, they were tiny. I won't try it again unless it has a fantastic flavor.
  • Romanian Red: Planted 20, harvested 17. Middle-range in size. Decent.
  • Transylvanian: Planted 16, harvested 12. Big. Nice. Will plant again.
  • Chinese Pink: Planted 8, harvested 8. Middle ground here. Not sure if I'd plant again, stay tuned.
  • Inchelium Red: Planted 24, harvested 17. Smallish to mid-sized. Still on the fence on this one.
So, the overall count is: Planted: 192 Harvested: 156. I lost a total of 36 plants for various reasons. Percentage wise, that means I harvested about 81% of what I planted. Not bad. One year I harvested almot 50% of what I planted.

It's interesting reading through the list to find I planted more softneck than hardneck this year. Softnecks keep better, but hardnecks have more interesting flavor. Keep in mind, also, that a lot of people would be thrilled to get the size of garlic I did this year, but I've done better before and I was hoping for larger, so overall it was a great harvest and I'm really happy.

If you are interested in growing garlic, I would recommend thegarlicstore.com as a great place to find information and a wide selection of planting stock. They are currently taking advanced orders for 2009, and they have nice variety packs.

3 comments:

YD, sometimes with Samantha & June said...

Nice! Vampires will sure stay away from your house! LOL
I harvested mine as well. This year's my first time planting garlic and I will definitely plant some more this Fall. I planted the German Extra Hardy. I haven't try eating them yet. I pulled one out about a week and a half ago, so it should be ready. The rest we just pulled them last weekend.
I will sure use your list as a guide for me.

Angie said...

Kudos on your plentiful garlic harvest! May all the cloves be delicious.

I have an annoying habit of harvesting my garlic too early, before the bulbs reach maximum size. Still, they're quite tasty.

Me voici₪Here I am said...

Mmm!