Hi there! This post is about conveying that gardening doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” past-time. We started out spending quite a bit of time in the garden (read: Every.Spare.Minute.). But as our family is growing-up, and our interests are growing (can you say that?), we are spending less time in the garden. Given how precious time is, it is important that we only grow what we have time to care for. That means that we grow what is easy! And the top of that “easy to grow” list is garlic.
I am still a stickler about not using chemicals in the garden, and I source organic seeds/plants. Fruit Hill Farm, based in Cork, has been a great resource for organic growing, and I’ve been quite happy with the garlic which they have provided. I’ve only used two varieties: Cristo and Vallelado. I like garlic that is planted in the fall and harvested in the summer. It is nice to have some growth in the garden over the winter, and it requires very little maintenance. The rewards are huge, as the taste of home grown garlic is far superior to store-bought garlic, if I do say so myself. 🙂
“Winter garlic” can be planted any time in the fall. The rule of thumb is to get your cloves in the ground before Christmas, to ensure (in Ireland) that they get enough time in soil that is cold enough. My husband enlisted the help of our youngest daughter to assist with planting. We’re using different beds for the garlic this year, and since I had cleared the two beds of weeds following our pumpkin harvest a while back, they could set to work straight away.
My husband made the holes in the soil and my daughter placed in the cloves (pointy side up). It is nice to get the kids involved. (I hope they think so too!)
If you’d like more step-by-step instructions, you can click here to my earlier post about how easy it is to grow garlic. We planted Vallelado this year. It is good for storing, which I can attest to. After harvesting and drying out in the summer, I keep mine in a paper bag in a closet in our (somewhat cold) utility room. It will last all winter long, and you will have plenty to give away to friends, too.
Sometimes, I can get all caught up in life in a too serious kind of way. This is never a good idea! There is something to be said about getting older and wiser, though. Thankfully, I do find myself recognizing when I’m getting a bit too serious, and I can work on changing gears. A lot of this has to do with balance, or being out of balance. You know: work/family/house/garden/…me! 🙂 And that is why we only plant the easy stuff in the garden!
And if I find myself getting too serious, I go and make a wreath with anything and everything I can gather from the garden!!! Because inevitably, that puts a smile on my face.
Will you join me in planting garlic this fall? There are still a few more weeks left to do so!
Garlic, roses and artichokes…that does put a smile on your face. 🙂
Hi Karen, oh I have great fun being silly while creating wreaths from just about anything! Glad you also smiled! 🙂
I agree. And it’s such a joy to dig up the bulbs, too, and realize one has grown one’s very own garlic!
Hi Cynthia, Oh yes, it is so rewarding to dig up those bulbs! Lovely to hear that you also enjoy planting garlic! 🙂
GREAT POST! I grow Elephant Garlic in the south flower bed because of its nice huge clusters of flowers. Of course, I use it in cooking as well. I would like to try other garlic cultivars in the future. Thanks for sharing!
Just this week I learned about the pretty flowers on Elephant Garlic! I’m tempted to try growing it, perhaps next year? I do like having the soft neck garlic for long term storing though (a bit of a trade off!). Thanks for your lovely comment!
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