Backyard Garlic!

So, I thought what better way to start my Backyard to Fork blog than discussing something that is both the first sign of my veggie growing season and something that I discovered is growing wildly in my yard. GARLIC!

On the first day where I haven’t had to dress like an Eskimo to go outside, I decided to dig up an area of my yard next to my composter to plant some onions. I noticed a cluster of longer strands of grass that I thought were rogue daffodils (although I don’t really have any wild plant identifying skills).

After trying to dig it up to re-plant it somewhere else, the familiar pungent aroma of garlic rose from the ground!

Garlic lasts longer if the stems are left on and since it is still pretty chilly outside, I brought them inside to cure. I am glad I saved the baby garlics from soon being hit by my lawn mower! I hope they are tasty, I have never eaten wild garlic!

Last year I did not cut off the garlic scapes from my garlic plants as some gardeners suggest to do to grow bigger garlic bulbs. I just thought the plant looked too awesome to cut and it was a great conversation starter with my neighbors. And as you soon will find out, I have a hard time trimming back ANY of my veggie plants for fear of killing a baby veggie (the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?). I let my garlic grow a huge seed head, which when opened, explodes with little garlic bulbils. I do not believe these are actually seeds, but are mini garlic bulbs. Maybe some of the bulbils “escaped” into my yard during my vigorous garlic harvest!

Back in October, I planted garlic cloves in one of my raised garden beds. I planted my cloves two inches deep and about four inches apart with the tip facing the sky and the flatter part pointing down. This is the second year that I am growing garlic from the same batch that was given to me (I am not sure of the variety). I saved some of the biggest cloves from my harvest from last year to plant this year. The bigger the cloves, hopefully the bigger the bulb!


I was so happy to discover both intentional and wild garlic sprouts emerging in my backyard!

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