Today we started to plant garlic. Garlic can be planted either in the early spring or late fall or early winter. With that being said, I did not plant any this past fall or winter so I am planting it now. Poor weather conditions often mean that spring planted garlic produces smaller bulbs. In addition the seed garlic must be chilled before planting in order to cause it to break out of its dormancy. Nonetheless, spring garlic planting can produce good results in the warmer areas where it is often planted in late February or March. It also removes any possibility of the plant being damaged by the winter cold.
Andy, my wife and I planted a couple of rows of garlic and three rows of onion. We would have been able to get more finished, but we happened to have a little problem with our tiller. I hit a piece of metal that apparently was buried in the field from an old piece of equipment. I actually had to use the torch to cut it out of the rototiller. It took almost an hour. By then Andy had to leave for a doctor's appointment. This year we are using California soft-neck garlic. Soft-neck garlic does not send up a woody stalk. Instead it sends up strapy leaves. The absence of a stalk growing from the center of the bulb allows several smaller cloves to grow at the center of each head and larger cloves on the outside layer. Because of the layers of cloves, soft-neck garlic is plump looking. Soft-neck garlic also are referred to as braidable varieties because their soft-stems dry almost grass-like and can be tied or braided together into long chains. Soft-necked garlic is strong flavored and stores well because it has several protective outer layers of papery skin. I am really looking forward to growing this crop and seeing the results. Moreover, I love garlic!