When I was young, I never dreamed I would garden, and I certainly never thought I would be as enamored of something as I am of having harvested my very own garlic. What a wondrous thing, growing your own garlic. I always thought of it as an exotic, something that would never grow in my zone 4a garden.
But here it is, in all its glory.
Pictured are three of the four varieties I grew this year. I have practiced an enormous amount of restraint in not using the rest. My plan is to save it all until October, when it's time to plant again. Once I've planted what I need, I'll use whatever is left.
I planted twelve cloves of each variety: German Extra Hardy, Chrysalis Purple, Music and Siberian. I harvested twelve cloves of Siberian, eleven each of Chrysalis Purple and Music, and four of German Extra Hardy (all of which has been used, which is why it's not pictured).
I was surprised by the poor yield of the German. Part of the problem was overactive squirrels last autumn - about four cloves were dug up before I put on the straw mulch. However, I still should have gotten at least 6-8 cloves. But at least my decision about what to plant this fall is a bit easier.
In general, I was disappointed in the size of the cloves. I have a feeling it was because of our very hot and dry summer. Although I kept up with the watering, it seemed to me that the foliage of all the garlic plants turned brown very fast - much faster than I read about. I also harvested earlier than many other bloggers, but I felt I had to do it because the leaves had turned mostly brown. In any case, we'll try again next year and see what happens.
Overall, Music and Chrysalis each had larger cloves, while Siberian yielded one extra clove. I think I'll probably plant all three varieties this fall and see how they do next year.