Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's up with the garlic anyway

So you should know about my garlic that I planted in January and I mentioned last week that I was going to maybe try to dig it up to see what was going on (if you are a real gardener reading this you're probably like WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU but I am blaming it on my engineering background).  So I did dig up one plant the other day to see what was happening and there were a LOT of roots, which I should have left undisturbed (I'm the worst) and instead of the little clove I planted, it seemed to have rounded out a bit.

It looked a bit like a "seed onion", you know those little tiny onion bulbs you plant and then they turn into giant onions?  So anyway clearly it was not time to dig up yet.  I put it back and hopefully it doesn't die.

I did some more reading about garlic because the internet was giving me some conflicting ideas, and it turns out that garlic needs quite a bit of heat to actually mature, so unless you have a heat lamp or something, I don't know how feasible it is to actually grow garlic indoors in the winter.  You can absolutely START it indoors, which I have done, but I think it's going to need a summer outside in the hot sun to finish.

What you're supposed to do with garlic for best results is plant the cloves in the fall so the roots get established, then it sort of has a dormant period over the winter, and then it grows in the summer and you harvest the following fall after you planted.  Interesting!  So I think for now I'm going to leave my garlic to sleep in the garage until it gets warm out and then see what happens over the summer.  My parents planted a bunch of garlic last summer and it didn't do anything so they just left it over the winter - I'm interested to see how their crop turns out.

In case you are still horrified that I would dig up a plant to see what was going on, I think that's just kind of my style.  I hope someday I'm one of those master gardener type people who can figure out a way to grow kiwis in Saskatchewan (people do it, believe it or not) and stuff, and I think for me sometimes digging stuff up to see how a plant is developing helps me to learn.  Experimenting with growing things is the most fun, even if I occasionally kill something without meaning to.

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