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).
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!