Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

After moaning about my lack of success with ‘easy to grow’ garlic not that long ago, I gave it another go and experimented with growing it both in a compost improved garden bed and in a pot. I expected that the plants in the garden bed with rot, especially considering the very wet winter and spring we have had.

Taa-da! OK, it's not much to look at, but I'm very proud of my garlic!

At first I was surprised that what was growing in the pot did not thrive as did the plants in the garden bed. In fact all but one plant in the pot withered and died. Eventually I remembered that all but one (the surviving one) of what I had planted in the pot was the garlic I had tried planting out from bulbs I had bought from the supermarket. What went in the garden was bulbs from the nursery.

I was worried that this plant appeared to be starting to rot, so was very happy to discover healthy little bulblets instead!

Anyway, I may have harvested a little hastily, but the plants were starting to go to flower and yellow off and I was determined that I wouldn’t lose them to rot again, so up they came today. It is only a modest little harvest, but I’m very proud of it. I am also pleased that my small attempt to improve our clay soil seems to have worked, so I’m encouraged to start gathering in more compost!

Oh, and if anyone has any tips on drying and storing garlic from the garden I would be very interested!

Cheers,

Heidi

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Comments on: "At last, some (modest) success with garlic!" (14)

  1. Fantastic effort and congrats on sticking with it. As you say, it might be a modest harvest but it’s a harvest! Garlic bread to go with dinner tonight?

  2. Hi Bernie!
    Mmm, yummy garlic bread!
    In fact we’re having balsamic roast lamb with lots of…garlic! Maybe some garlic bread tomorrow perhaps!

    • Ooh, loving the sound of the Balsamic roast lamb with garlic … the sausage sizzle I’ll be having tonight pales into insignificance! I’ll be dreaming of roast lamb while munching on a sausage sanger!!!

  3. Heidi–The garlic looks amazing to me and now I’m inspired to try my hand at it! Off to the compost bin! I have a great creamy garlic balsalmic dressing if you want to collect recipes. Lesley

    • Hi Lesley! I can’t remember, is your soil clay too? I only ask because as well as adding the compost, I think planting the garlic in a more mounded fashion than I had before helped, as they could drain a bit more readily.
      As for that recipe – it sounds divine! Would love it if you were happy to share 🙂

  4. Yes, I know your feeling of quiet pride. I felt the same as I took my 3 garlic plants into the garage to dry.
    (Lucky we’re not relying on my massive garlic crop for our survival!!!)

    • Hello Frogdancer!
      If we were relying on our harvest for survival we would be in real trouble, particularly at the rate we consume garlic!
      Oh and a question – when you put your garlic out to dry in your garage, did you braid the leaves and hang them up that way?

  5. I had given up on garlic but yours looks so goo I might give it another try – I think I have to plant it out at the end of the wet season and harvest before the next wet starts again. As I understand there is a long growing season.

    • Hello Africanaussie 🙂
      That sounds like a brilliant idea – mine was in the ground for about five months. I was expecting it to need three or four more weeks, but I was a little (overly) keen to harvest! Good luck!

  6. HI Heidi: Just roaming around, been a long time since I have grown Garlic. We plant it in the fall here and harvest it the next summer.

    Have a wonderful day,
    John

  7. Hello John 🙂 I guess that is similar to what we do, just that it works out to be a completely different time of year! I hope you have a lovely day too!

  8. Congratulations! It’s amazing what free-draining soil can do for garlic. The first time I grew it (well, actually it didn’t grow) was in clay soil. It turned to mush. Here we amend our beds with extra sand to ensure water doesn’t stand. For drying, we’re cheap, and repurpose old seed-flats as drying racks. Our harvesting/drying post is here http://curbstonevalley.com/blog/?p=6397 it worked great!

    • Hello dear Clare, if only I’d read your informative posts on planting and harvesting garlic beforehand! Well, I can go back and re-read them before my next attempt. At least my modest success has motivated me for another go and I think I’ll try adding some sand as you suggest as well as compost. Thanks for the seed tray drying rack tip too!
      I’m wondering after reading your posts if our different conditions means different length of growing time too, or if I’ve short changed my garlic by thinking it only needs six months in the ground?!

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