Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Soft Neck Garlic Harvest and Shallots

French Gray Shallots

After listening to the Cultivate Simple Podcast #37 on my way home this evening and getting inspired for some fall/winter gardening/planting I figured it was time pull the soft-neck garlic test bed I planted last fall.  This bed was planted to compare and confirm that the soft-neck garlic is just not productive for me in Zone 5b.  As you can see this bed is looking pretty dead.  Around the perimeter I stuck a few off the smaller shallots I planted last fall and they have since grown up and almost completely died back so I figured it was time to pull them and see what was buried beneath the dirt.

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As you can see below I had the same problem I had this year that I did last year.  The garlic scape never made it high enough out of the stalk and the garlic bulbils swell up and create a weak spot in the garlic stalk.  This causes all of my plants to bend over where the bulbils have swelled.  Since most of the plants where yellowing and bent over I decided to pull them.  The bulbs were exactly the same size as last year, no bigger than a silver dollar.  They smelled very strong of garlic, so I have bunched them up and set them aside to dry.

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For comparison purposes below is a photo of the hard-neck garlic beds which has foliage that is much denser, larger stalks, and greener leaves.  Each garlic plant produced a legit garlic scape just like I was doing something correct!

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Bunches of small garlic ready to be set aside to dry.  I will not be wasting time or space on the soft-neck garlic next season!

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Now for the French Gray Shallots.  The shallots I planted in this bed were the smaller of the seed shallots I got from The Maine Potato Lady, and the green tops were pretty much all but dead when I pulled them with the soft-neck garlic.  I was surprised to see them bunched like this because I am accustomed to buying individual store bought shallots at my local supermarket.  These are also smaller than I would have expected, but the soil they were planted in was pretty dense, so that may be a contributing factor to their small size.  They smell great and will make a good addition to meals in the future.  They are currently drying.

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A close up of the the two clusters with the largest shallots.

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With this bed now virtually empty I will try and make my first attempt at fall/winter gardening!


July 9, 2013 - Posted by | Cooking, Gardening | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hey, your garlic looked good compared to ours. We had a dry early spring followed up by a wet late spring. That brought on rust. We had to pull off all the leaves with rust and that just left the center stalk. Our garlic that we’ve grown from our own seed year to year is pathetic. We’ve already ordered new seed, but we can’t plant garlic in that bed for at least three years!

    We had that problem with onions several years ago, but in a different bed. You win some, you lose some. We tried shallots one time too, with little success. The leeks are growing well, but they take awhile.

    Comment by solarbeez | July 10, 2013 | Reply

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