Well, it’s that time of the year again. Or actually, it would be that time of the year in several weeks except that with the hot and extremely dry weather we had this summer, the garlic (as you can see from the photo) basically gave up the ghost and went ‘toes up’ (as we say here in the country) about 2-3 weeks early. We were trialing the two ‘winners’ from last year (Susanville and Vietnamese Red) against three ‘new’ varieties, Music (which actually we’ve grown before), Premium Northern White (which around here is the standard garlic grown by market gardeners) and Early Italian Red. Well, the growing season threw us and the garlic bulbs a complete fluke — hot and incredibly dry from the spring through frankly this weekend, when we finally got some concentrated rainfall for two days. (more…)
Like this bit of plot at the back of one of the garden beds. Well, this looks pretty pathetic, doesn’t it? This, my friends, is garlic ready for harvest. It is the first of four varieties that we are trialing here at Chez Siberia (because if it will grow here, it will literally grow anywhere), Susanville. Now, in the catalogs, this is referred to as a ‘mid-season’ garlic, but it’s died back very early here. This growing season (and for garlic, as you recall, we planted the cloves last fall, so the growing season went through the winter and our very chilly and wet spring as well) has been very challenging. Although the garlic was under heaps of snow during the winter, it still was extremely cold (minus 27 degrees F. a couple of times) and we got a couple of late frosts in the spring. So, we are very curious to see how all of the garlics handled the non-perfect growing conditions. (more…)
So, we’re halfway through October here at Chez Siberia. We’ve had a solid week of nightly frosts in the low 20s. Real ‘scrape off the windows on your car’ mornings. So, for a lot of people here, gardening season is officially ‘over’. If they’ve been efficient, they’ve ripped everything out, thrown it on the compost (except if they had blight on the tomatoes, in which case, they burned all the old plants and then disposed of the ashes), have been raking up the leaves to turn into compost or leaf mold. Game over. (more…)
I know for many people, growing things in the garden is strictly done on the ‘what costs me a lot in the store’ aspect or ‘specialty things that I can’t get locally’ aspect. So, there are a lot of people who will grow 6 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, but who won’t grow potatoes or onions because, after all, “I can buy a 50 pound bag at the store for $xx – it takes too much room to grow enough.” Or, “I don’t have room to store” or some other reason.
And Aunt Toby is here today to tell you this: It’s worth it. (more…)