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Garlic Gap, Garlic Ramblings

April 20, 2012

The 2011 garlic is history.

Actually it has been done for a little while now but I was experiencing withdrawals and didn’t want to talk about it…….

This brief period, the weeks or months between when last the previous harvest is consumed and this year’s harvest is ready, is the dreaded “Garlic Gap”.

We never knew it existed, as we were subsiding on the always available but second tier grocery store garlic for years. Who knew garlic has seasons eh?
While we have only grown a couple of relatively basic types of fresh garlic in this adventure, the taste difference between that grown fresh at home and the grocery staple garlic was sufficient to covert us.

Yes we are now garlic snobs, to go along with our recent conversion to substantially higher standards in lettuce, beans, tomatoes, and greens of all types.
It is like someone told me once- “If you can tolerate the cheap whiskey and think it is good enough, never ever try the good stuff. Because there IS a difference, and you will never ever be happy with the cheap stuff again

Recently however I have regained my garlic mojo and hope is rising that somehow I might survive this garlic void in my diet. I may have been saved by “spring” or “green” garlic, the early pulls with the immature bulbs just beginning to form.

From the intentionally crowded green garlic grid spaced on roughly 1.5″ centers:

The “normal” garlic beds have started the bulbing process as well; you can tell by the leaves. While the leaves are still fairly robust and busy pulling in all the energy the sun can provide, a slightly yellowish hue is becoming apparent along the edges of more of them. All the energy absorbed by the plant over the last 6 or 7 months is vacating the top in favor of the bottom, where some switch has been turned “on”. The bulbs are now forming rapidly and by June the these bulbs will have divided into cloves.

The plants look strong and tall but I know it won’t be long now before the browning and withering of the tops signals that garlic days are here again. 🙂 .

Hardneck in the front bed (with some potato onions on the left), softneck in the back bed, and a portion of the crowded green garlic patch leaning into the right side of the frame:

Ajo Rojo on the left side, California white on the right or back side (onions in the middle):

The rambling is now over, perhaps the garlic gap will close by early June.

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