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[quote="behillman"]Samthehavanese----Did you use store bought garlic to plant?[/quote]
Some was store bought, and some was ordered as planting stock. I often check some of the local markets to see what they have in their produce area. Sometimes I find varieties other than the common Gilroy variety.
This year is going to be my first time growing garlic. I ordered the warm winter assortment from Gourmet Garlic, http://gourmetgarlicgardens.com/index.htm. For Louisiana, my state Ag Dept. says plant in October & November. I'm also trying onions & shallots for the first time this year.
Actually, I did try garlic once before, several years ago when my garden was much, much smaller. Silly me didn't realize how long they took to mature, so when spring cam, I needed the space for my spring veggies and I had to pull up all the garlic. However, they made terrific green garlic, just like green onions!
I'm in 7b. I've always planted my garlic early, the start of Oct, because it helps the garlic get established and grows bigger buds usually. A couple years ago I was having a discussion with a friend gardener and we disagreed on this point.
I planted most of my garlic in Oct, then some right next to it in spring. There was a noticeable difference in size, the ones planted in early Oct.much bigger.
Jomoncon, I'm in New Orleans, too, and trying garlic, green onions, and leeks. I think mine went in the ground too soon, because the scapes of garlic are going gangbusters, but the green onion seems to be in good shape, and the leeks I got as a set from HD aren't doing too bad either.
I planted my garlic a few days ago. I had a few more bulbs that would fit in the bed I had prepared for them, so I sort of randomly placed them around the garden - some in my herb bed, some in the blackberry bed. I was putting in some parsley & cilantro yesterday, and accidentally dug up one of the garlic bulbs. It was starting to put out roots, so I'm sure the garlic bed will be pretty full soon. I also planted some heshiko & ishikura bunching onion seeds. For my green onions, I usually just plant onion sets, but I thought I'd try the seeds this year. Would you believe I've never eaten leeks!! My mom grew up on a farm that raised them commercially, and she just hated them so they were never served in our house. I keep thinking I must be missing something, so I need to look up some good leek recipes and see what they taste like. Maybe I'll run over to HD & get a pack. I'm going to order onion starts from Dixondale Farms when they become available, probably November. I'll get the Short Day Sampler. If they do well, next year, I'll do seeds instead.
Jomoncon, I use the LSU guide, but now I really believe it since the garlic kersplosion. I think we're supposed to use the tail-end dates for fall planting and the earlier ones for spring. I'm also right on the bayou.
Leeks are good, as long as you wash them like crazy. Leek & potato soup is a good place to start, think "loaded baked potato as soup" and you'd be hard-pressed to not like it. I use Mr. Emeril's recipe. Yum!
Editing to add the link to leek & potato soup, I use plain bacon instead of pancetta.
You can get them at Rouse's or Whole Foods Uptown, but beware if you o by streetcar - leeks are huge, and often I end up smacking someone upside the head with them by accident. Hong Kong Market on the WB is where I try to do a weekly produce-and-plants run, too, I started a malabar spinach growing from there at my old place.
I'm in a new place post-Isaac, so everything is different as I build up a whole different garden in short order! I've got two new cukes coming up, radishes, an a few other odds and ends. Anything you're growing now?
I recently discovered the Hong Kong Market and I love it! It has some of the freshest and cheapest veggies and fruits I've found anywhere. And I really need to try some of their fresh fish!
I live in Gentilly & my neighbor & I bought the empty lot between us through the Lot Next Door program. So we each got an addition that's 20'x100'. By New Orleans standards this is huge! I've put in 4 4x8 raised beds, 3 2x12 raised beds and several fruit trees, satsumas, lemon, and fig. One of the 2x12 beds has been dedicated to blackberries, another one if for my herbs: rosemary, parsley, cilantro, thyme, sage. Right now, my fall crop of bush beans are growing like crazy, the garlic, shallot and green onion seeds are planted, cauliflower & broccoli are growing like crazy. I put in some jalapeno & habanero peppers are few months ago, but Isaac set them back so I don't know about those. I'm saving a 4x8 bed for onions in January or February, so until then, I've sown some "Chicken Salad" mix for my hens to have. I'll till that under a week or so before planting the onions transplants.
I've always had luck keeping my garden going year round. The worst time for me is that hottest months of the summer when everything wilts. Next year, I'll just put in some field peas that should take the heat. I know okra & eggplants grow well in the heat, but those are not on out list of veggies to eat. Before I got his extra land, I was growing everything in 7 earth boxes on my front porch. I'll probably keep growing the tomatoes in the 4 of the EBs, but I may put the others on Craigslist.
Just a word that you should go ahead and order your onions transplants from Dixondale Farms YESTERDAY, as they sometimes run out closer to the planting season.
When I've ordered in the past, they wouldn't deliver to me until after November. When my transplants did arrive, I generally didn't get them in the ground right away, and ended up having to sort through the bunch for the (still) viable bulbs!
Anyway, the first year I set the transplants on my birthday, January 8, 2011, and got nice, full onions for harvesting between July-August. They take that long...I figured if they wouldn't get to me by November, I had time to try and grow my own transplants from seeds!
Last weekend, I sprinkled onion seeds I ordered from Seeds of Change and Henry Fields (first time from both of them). The seedlings popped in about 7 days, and I'm getting wispy little sprigs. I planted in a reclaimed set of dresser drawers I painted, drilled holes in the bottom, and reinforced the particle board by stapling a sheet of hardware cloth (wire screen) across the bottoms. I filled each with a mix of seed starting mix and composted manure.
Here're the trays. Will post pics of the onions later.
There's a wonderful video tutorial by The Bayou Gardener on YouTube. Goggle "planting onions in containers" the Bayou Gardener YouTube, and the video should come right up.
This guy started seeds in an old trough. Twelve weeks later, he had his onion transplants!
P.S. I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO envy that you guys can buy those lots!!! That is a slick plan by the City to ensure the vacants don't just sit. Pretty smart move.
P.S.S. I'm a native New Orleanian, here in Houston since 1984.
I usually ordered the short day sampler packet. You're gonna get about SIXTY of each variety, so be prepared with your double-wide lot! LOLOL!
The yellows and whites grew to a nice baseball size. The purple (milder) ones grew more flat, and not as big, but the mild flavor has its place in some of my dishes.
When you plant them, make sure to space them at least 4" apart. You can start them off closer (3"), and then pull the in-between ones to use as green onions, and to increase the spacing distance for the ones you leave. Ideally, to get the "big "uns" about 6" inbetween.
Also, onions are heavy feeders! Read up on the nutrients on the Dixondale website. I always confuse whether they want heavy phosphorus or potassium. I think it's phosphorus. In any case, be prepared when you plant out, by mixing up an rich mix with a fair share of organics and P or K. And, you'll need to side dress periodically about every 4-6 weeks.
Don't mind the cold, cause they sure don't! Long as it's not a sustained, hard freeze for 3-4 days in a row, they'll be fine. I threw a cardboard box tent over my Earthboxes, just to keep the wind off them, when we had a couple overnight dips into the 30s.
Finally, you'll need to pull out your barber shears. Early on when they're taking off, they'll get top-heavy with the green stems, and might tend to fall over. TIME FOR A HAIRCUT! I used some scissors and cut them back to about 4". Nice and neat, and gave the bulb roots a chance to anchor into the soil. They grow sitting almost on TOP of the soil, so if you're fighting wind, you might wanna have a wind barrier ready just in case you need it!
Oh Linda, Thanks so much for all the info on the onions from Dixondale. I guess I was thinking that with the short day sampler packet was going to be 60 in total, not 60 of each. If that's the case, I'm going to have way too many. Maybe someone on Craigslist will want the extras!
I've been reading all the info on the Dixondale website. Do you also get the fertilizer from them? I looked around locally for a 10-20-10 fertilizer they recommended, but the closest I could find was an 8-10-8. So I think I'll use that with some added blood meal.
Do you also plant them the way Dixondale recommends - with the fertilizer strip between the onions? I guess I'll do it that way, but if I could get away from that, I could plant twice the number of onions. But, since they're the experts I guess I'll do as they recommend.
I bought the sampler pack for southern gardeners from Gourmet Garlic Gardens yesterday...
I was inspired by this thread. I tried growing garlic once but was interrupted by moving to a new home so hopefully I will have a successful crop this time around. I'll probably plant a small garden bed, plus try stashing a few cloves "here and there" in the garden and the front yard.
The assortment of southern gardeners garlic I received from Gourmet Garlic Gardens included Early Red Italian, Applegate Giant, Inchelium Red, Rogue River Red, and Native Creole. I had no idea there were so many different varieties of garlic!! It'll be interesting, in 7-8 months, to see how the tastes differ from just regular grocery store garlic.
Garlic is low-acid and therefore runs the risk of botulism. The only USDA approved method of canning garlic is pickled garlic - not what you want to cook with! It can be frozen either chopped or whole, or it can be dried. Here's a very good pdf file on storing garlic.
I haven't received my garlic yet, and I ultimately had to buy from Greif Gourmet Garlic. I believe they promised an assortment of "Metechi, Polish White, Thermadrone, Transylvanian Silverwhite and soft and hard Silverskin, among others."
I have been thinking about storage as well...it will be a challenge to store on the gulfcoast due to our high humidity so I will need to educate myself. I say this because I would like to braid the garlic and hang it because I think it looks cool and it would be practical as well (onions, too.) I might have to can as jomoncon suggests, which would be fine as well. I might try both since this is my first real "go" with garlic. This will definitely be a learning experience.
Here's my garlic so far. I planted about five cloves in the lid from an "old smokey" bbq pit, plus a bunch more in a garden bed. I drilled a few holes in the bbq pit lid plus it already had some holes from the smoke ventilation. Some of the cloves did not germinate in the garden bed so I have gaps between some garlic plants. I should have replanted but never got around to it :( Anyway, how do they look thus far? I think I planted the cloves in Late November...I need to find my notes so I can't say for sure. Also, should I be feeding them anything?
p.s. garlic is in the foreground and I have onions way in the back (short-day sampler from Dixondale.)
Have any of you cut the tops of your garlic & stuck them in a jar of water into the fridge? The water comes up smelling very garlicy. I wonder if a person could use this water for flavoring meats & stuff.
Update on my garlic: They are growing like crazy. After I planted this bed, I had a few left over that I just scattered around the garden. I've been pulling those up before the make heads & using them as "green garlic." Fantastic in scrambled eggs, potato salad or pasta.
I can't wait to see how the ones on the beds turn out. Image - my very own, home-grown garlic!