Garlic seems like an untimely subject, but around this time of the year I find myself focused on garlic. I work on preserving the garlic that is left in the pantry from last year, and also start tending to my new garlic plants that are coming up out of the ground. I have been growing garlic for decades.
I started with some German hardneck bulbs that my grandmother gave me. I originally planted them in a flower bed at my home, but since that time have started plots in various areas that I have lived and worked. My primary garlic patch is at my parent’s home and my dad has taken over tending the garlic as one of his many retirement hobbies.
My first garlic task this time of year is taking stock of how much of last year’s garlic is left in the pantry and figuring out how to use it. We had a big harvest in 2019, and still have a few pounds of garlic that is unused at this point. I decided to try pickling the garlic to see what that is like. I found this recipe online. I opted for the refrigerator version of the recipe and it only took a few hours of my weekend to peel, fill jars, add vinegar and spices, and store the garlic in my fridge. I am looking forward to using it in recipes and salads over the next few months.
My second garlic task is to take care of the new shoots that are bursting out of the ground. Garlic is not really difficult to grow, but it does have some basic nutritional needs. When I plant in the fall, I fertilize with Fertrell Super K 3-4-7 to provide the fertility needed for growing my garlic crop. In the spring, I top dress with Fertrell Blue N 5-1-1, to provide a little additional nitrogen for top growth early in the season. It is important to not apply nitrogen after the end of April because you want the garlic plants to focus on bulb production. If you have garlic planted but didn’t fertilize in the fall, it’s not too late. You can apply Fertrell Super K 3-4-7 in the next few weeks to give your garlic a boost and the fertility needed to produce a crop.
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