I’ve just pulled all the garlic and just in time, it would appear, as for the first year ever, they have started with rust.
The bulbs are unaffected so once dried off a bit, instead of plaiting them, I’ll simply snip off the stems and put all the foliage into the recycle bins (ie not the compost) and store them in a bowl instead. I usually do this with the smaller bulbs anyway, just so long as the garlic has dried enough to form a seal at the top of the bulb before really trimming them down. At the moment, the shallots growing alongside the garlic are rust free, it’ll be interesting to see how they go as we are still in the midst of very strange weather, a mixture of hot sun and then torrential rain.
So, back in Autumn, I planted 4 large bulbs of ‘Albigensian Wight’ and some of my own bulbs stored from the pervious harvest. I would normally plant a mixture of ‘Solent Wight’ & ‘Albigensian’, but I opted for just the one variety this year.
They have been harvested about 2 weeks later than normal, but how produced smaller bulbs, not a bad size and all, but definitely smaller. I might try just ‘Solent Wight’ next year and see if this makes a difference (last year I had some huge bulbs but I couldn’t remember which cloves had been planted where).
I also planted much less than last time, as you can see, I still have some of that harvest left (along with the final shallots), the one good thing is both varieties are really good keepers. I just don’t have enough space to plant huge amounts of garlic and there’s no point if we can’t eat it all. I’ve tried pickling it in the past, but again, if I still have plenty of fresh hanging in the kitchen there’s not much need for the pickled version.
There is quite a lot of work to do in the garden, the trouble is it’s either tipping it down or blazing so brightly that I can’t bare to work outside. I am not a big fan of hot summer weather unless I’m on holiday, or relaxing, I find it difficult to be very physical in the heat plus my (new-ish to me) hay fever is really bad this year, even having the windows open in the house makes my eyes itch and sting, despite doubling up my hay fever tablets. Soooooo British, ‘weather…moan….moan…weather!’ ;)
I’m off to cook a chicken for the boys, I plan to stuff it with last year’s garlic, I hate waste so I’m making a determined effort to use it up before this year’s is ready.