Today, I finished the garlic preparation for the this year’s harvest. I cleaned and braided 26 softnecks (and had another 11 heads that were split or not braidable) and also cleaned and destemmed 26 hardnecks. So overall, I harvested 63 heads. That should last me well into next year. However, I just realized that I forgot to save the biggest heads for planting this fall, so I need to cut four large heads from the braid prematurely. I will also save the four largest hardnecks.
I spent some time in the garden today weeding the spot where I pulled the garlic a few days ago. I planted carrots and beets there and saved some space for fall greens that will go in the ground in a few weeks. I also sowed more pole beans, as some of the plants had been chewed down to their little stems by, I suspect, a rabbit. My harvest: a couple of pickling cucumbers and flowers.
I also cleaned the garlic today and hung it in our back stairwell to cure. In about two to three weeks, I will braid the softnecks and destem the hardnecks and store them for the long-term.
I finally pulled the garlic yesterday. I pulled a total of 64 heads (37 softneck and 27 hardneck). I was pleasantly surprised about their size as I had planted them a bit too close together and the stems were not very strong in many cases, the latter is probably a result of all the rain we had lately. They are now drying on the porch for a couple of days and then will be cleaned and hung to dry for three weeks or so in our back hallway. Here is to another great harvest. I still have two heads from last year’s harvest in my pantry.
This afternoon, I thinned my carrots (they are supposed to be rainbow carrots, but so far no deep red ones yet) and harvested my last handful of peas. I also took out the pea plants, weeded the plot (we had a lot of rain these past few days) and planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans in the spot where the peas used to be. I also planted nasturtium, which I somehow had forgotten to do earlier this season.
The garlic is starting to get ready, which is early. I typically harvest at the end of the month. But we had two heat waves, the last one just last week. With the heat and the rain, everything is speeding up this season. I also sprinkled Epsom salt around the base of the tomatoes to fertilize. Over the next few weeks, I will give all plants a nice seaweed/fish emulsion treatment. I have a few “naked” spots in my plot and plant to fill them with beets, carrots and lettuce.
I made a small batch of garlic scape pesto with about half the scapes I harvested (15) and home-grown basil leaves (the basil leaves from the porch are huge!). I just pureed all of it with olive oil and salt. No cheese, no nuts. More versatile this way. I froze the surplus for future use. This pesto is so great on pasta, pizza, roasted veggies, or mixed into a pesto mayo for sandwiches …
I harvested all the remaining garlic scapes today and more peas. I also adjusted the velcro around the tomato stakes. Everything is looking good so far. I will need to harvest the rest of the lettuce in the next few days; the head lettuce is starting to elongate meaning it will bolt soon. Salad for dinner for days!
First peas, first strawberries, first garlic scapes. Much more to come. Lettuce is winding down after our five day-heatwave. Plus a few sprigs of mint. Big salad for dinner tonight.
Still eating from the garden: chilies and garlic. I even have a few last carrots in the fridge and still enjoy my potted thyme and rosmary that I brought into the kitchen from the back porch. Can’t wait to start my seeds (peppers, eggplant, basil will be first) in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to spring.