Garlic harvest is in full swing. Cuban Purple, Burgundy, Lortz Italian and Inchelium Red are all hanging in the shed wanting to be in the dark again, either in you stomach, or in the ground. Garlic is happiest when in the ground...I've determined this by how hard it is to get out of the ground. I broke a couple of spading fork handles the first couple of years prying it out of it's well-established winter home.
I still have too much clay in my soil on the far end of the patch...rotted manure and rotted wood much from the power company tree trimmers will cure that. I'm sure there are other organic farmers that will have 15 time consuming recipes to cure all my soil ills, but Ray Mallow, my neighbor in West Va said..."manure, be it black, brown, or green...everything starts out like that and ends up like that." Sorta like ashes to ashes, dust to dust, I guess.
I've still got the Silverwhite, Siciliano, and Siberian in the ground...be ready real soon with this latest forecast of hot (90 degree) weather.
It was a bad year for garlic... I usually plant in the fall... Oct to Dec. It rained Sept to March. I "mudded " it in. Garlic is forgiving , but it doesn't like wet feet, nor does it like high compacted growing medium if you want big bulb...it'll grow in concrete, you just won't get any bulb size. That's where I am this year...smaller than usually crop, of smaller than usual bulbs. You know what? It's still garlic, and as long as there are garlic lovers, there will be garlic...big, small or otherwise.
Going to have to re think the whole business of garlic growing this year. I have a system going, and the equipment needs in hand, but I'm getting too soon old and too late smart. Time to intensify and simplify. course all the garlic wants is back into the ground...it's got me trained pretty well. As Scotty Edwars says "You gotta have a master plan to farm'.
I've not tried a summer crop...though I did plant the Siciliano in early March and it caught up with the rest of it's buddies in just three month, instead of laying around all winter...hmm.
I guess I could apply for federal crop insurance on account of the rain this year. Don't it just make you ill that you can claim a loss on about anything and receive more than the crop was worth anyway? I promised not to get into politics/government in this here blog, but it does gall me.