Big news from Thurmont! My daughter and her husband have bought a house in another part of the county. We are so happy for them, but we now have to find a renter for our farmhouse. Our plan is to rent the house for a year or two and then we will probably move up to the farm permanently. My stipulation is: I want a master suite addition on the back of the house with a walk in closet and a mudroom. My plan is to grow old in this house and I want everything on one level.
Inside, the house has a new bathroom and kitchen and oak staircase to the second floor. A new heating and air system will be installed this month so there will be no need for window units.
If you are interested in renting, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll even include one of the garden beds for your use:)
Last fall I planted garlic in my raised beds. The year before I plant a soft neck variety. I guess it wasn't ideal for our area. I did get garlic bulbs. Small. Not worth saving in my opinion.
I did some research and found that a hard neck garlic does best in our area. I put my order into Territorial Seeds and followed the instructions. It is amazing what happens when you actually follow directions. I am sooo pleased with my garlic crop!
Soft neck varieties do better in milder regions and are supposed to store better than hard neck. I think that my garden is in a harsh micro climate. We are a few miles south of the Mason Dixon Line, so we are technically in the South. I plant later in this garden than my home garden 10 miles south because I have been hit with late frosts in the farm garden in Thurmont, and not in my home garden.
|Cloves from territorial Planted in the fall|
You need to remove the scapes - the flower heads that emerge to produce seeds. You want all the plant's energy to go to bulb production, not flower and seed production.
The scapes can be used for cooking. They look a little like scallions, but taste just like garlic. They can be sauteed whole or cut up and added to your food. Just like garlic.
I still have a bag in my fridge - they are holding up nicely.
Everything I have read states you can harvest your garlic when the bottom 2 leaves start to die. I came to the garden and the whole plant was dried and brown. oh well. It still looks great.
|pulled from bed|
I gently used a pitch fork to remove the bulbs from the dirt. I did not want to injure the plants.
I have read instructions to just gently brush extra dirt from the bulbs, and other instructions to remove a layer or 2 to have cleaner garlic bulbs. All the the instructions tell us to cure the bulbs so they store better, about 3 weeks in a cool, protected, well ventilated, dry area. My barn is full of hay, my shed doesn't have moving air, and I don't want my house to smell strongly of garlic for the summer. So, I found a protected area under my deck. Unless we have a deluge of rain, I can't imagine they will get soaking wet. There is excellent air circulation under there also.
|getting ready to clean - used a soft brush to remove excess dirt.|
|pulled off a layer|
|Half have layer removed, other half left on|
|curing under deck|
|Hazy day (month) in Northern Maryland|