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Everything is out of the garden now, including the raspberries we planted three years ago. They grew like they were on steroids, but never produced a berry. Such a disappointment.

We tilled the dirt to get ready for the last job before winter: planting the garlic. Today we will separated our heads of garlic into cloves (they do not need to be peeled) and plant 1,000 of the biggest cloves. (We’ll just roast and eat the smaller cloves!) Always make sure that the garlic is planted root down, so that the sprout doesn’t grow in the wrong direction! Also, we plant each clove 12 inches apart from the next one; this extra space allows room for larger heads to grow.

This year we’re planting garlic from three sources: saving back the best of the garlic we grew, garlic we purchased from Bobba-Mike’s Garlic Farm, and garlic from Harmony Valley Farm in southern Wisconsin. We visited this beautiful farm this summer thoroughly enjoyed meeting the owner, Richard, as he took us on a tour of his amazing production of 100 acres growing certified organic vegetables, many of which are sold to Whole Foods. Recently his farm suffered from a devastating flood.

All of the garlic we are growing is the hard neck Red German variety. We will cover it with straw for the winter. The garlic will sprout before winter, but is always hardy. During the next six months, we will eat our storage vegetables from this summer: garlic, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, plus the treasures that we froze: homegrown tomato sauce and pie cherries.

4 Comments for “Putting the Garden to Bed”  

  1. AK

    Silly, I know, but which end of a garlic clove is the root end?

  2. Anne

    No, not a silly question. A garlic clove (and the whole garlic head) is beautifully tapered like a pear: fat on the bottom and skinny on the top. On the fatter bottom end, one can see the core, which is the root end. On the skinnier top end, the clove shows the beginning of a sprout. A clove planted upside-down might sprout in China!

  3. Farmgirl Susan

    My garlic is safely in the ground and, thanks to your helpful reply to my comment on your earlier garlic post (for which I never thanked you!), I’m looking forward to a bumper crop next year because now I know that I’ve been waiting too long to harvest it! ; )

  4. Anne

    Thank you, Susan, for your comments. We did dig the potatoes this year as we needed them, but by the end of September, we dug them all up so we could till the garden to plant the garlic. Unfortunately, planting the potatoes next to the garlic never has produced garlic-flavored potatoes!