Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Continuing to use Morayfield Magic, originally from Malta but grown locally for many years. It's a softneck variety with good flavour and keeps sound for around 9 months from harvest.

Planted the cloves on 21st April. Twenty-four down, 23 harvested on 10th September 2016. Two were very slow to sprout and produced only very small bulbs.

They are planted in full sun, alternating between two wicking beds. This time I allowed the 'weeds' to be the 'volunteer cover crop'. Mainly Cobbler's Pegs which have sprouted enthusiastically along with the Garlic. Meaning I made a lot of weeding for myself! After spraying with BD 500 on the soil surface, I added Mt Sylvia rock dust and Gypsum then some home-made compost after turning in the cover crop.

Harvested around 5 months from planting, about normal for this variety. Last year I left them in too long and the cloves started to split away from the knob. This time I caught them a little earlier but still some splitting of the outer skin. Once the tops start to look ratty with dying ends, pull them up (or this variety anyway) so really I'm looking at around 4.5 months in the ground for the soundest knobs.

Preparing the bed by scraping up and turning in the 'cover crop':

Laying out the cloves before pushing them under the soil surface:

Looking distinctly 'ratty':

Cloves just starting to split from their papery cover - ideally the cloves would be totally covered for longer sounder storage:

And ready to dry:

Garlic stores best when the tops and roots are left intact. It prefers to be stored in a dim light with good air circulation. Not always so simple in a Brisbane mid-summer. I leave it in a wire drawer on the lowest shelf of a stand-alone kitchen rack and close enough to the back door to get some draft.

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Comment by Donna on September 26, 2016 at 15:09

Wow well done!  

Comment by Susan on September 12, 2016 at 19:34

Wow Elaine!.  I've not managed to grow garlic successfully yet.  I got some cloves from Suzanne's garden visit a while ago but it does not look promising.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 12, 2016 at 18:36

Oh if only I could, Dave. I named the Garlic myself. The woman grower lives around Morayfield and I met her on Thursdays at Redcliffe. She sells a variety of seedlings near the Redcliffe waterfront in that side street which used to have a Coles shop.

She just avoided any opportunity to give me her contact details. I did ask. I gather she's not growing so much Garlic or not growing it at all. I found her tricky to understand. Best I can offer is a couple of knobs, you keep it until planting time April/May and see how you go.

We don't use a huge amount of Garlic and the 23 recovered will do for planting material and eating cloves and a couple of spares for friends. Message to me if you want me to keep a couple for you.

Comment by Dave Riley on September 12, 2016 at 17:22

Garlic is the most expensive veg I have to buy. And here's the rub: in the photo there may be 23 bulbs but that quantity would last me maybe four  months. 

All the garlic I plant does not thrive at all but I still yearn as I do for  quality turmeric harvests and any root veg in reliable outputs.

My soil isn't there yet.

(I'm getting Turmeric from Deagon's Green P farm and it's great stuff.They run a stall each week in Sandgate)

...there will be no street stall on Friday 9 September. Pcyc garden and Beeline honey will be at the VMR open day on 11 September, Green P farm stalls restart on 16 September. LINK

Spring onions I have mastered and am wonderfully self sufficient even when using them exclusively --instead of bulb 'onions'. They grow slowly but grow well. 

Best thing in the garden. A jewel in the dirt.

...While a garlic year is a long time... I have to try.

So Elaine can you message me with the contact details  for the Morayfield Magic personage?  Or whatever. All the fancy garlics I've tried have died and us Caboolture River peoples have to support one another.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 12, 2016 at 16:40

I am still failing quite nicely to grow garlic.  *Andy sighs*

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 12, 2016 at 13:02

Dig? Mine got unceremoniously yanked from the soil! They sat further down into the soil than I thought Garlic grew. Until they started to die off and I tried to check if there were any cloves, that's the first time I saw the crop and saw it peeping out from splits in the papery cover (must have a proper name though). Seems that tickling around the knob with your fingers to uncover the soil a bit will be a useful method then looking at the leaves. If the plants look past their best then it's harvest time for Garlic.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 12, 2016 at 12:58

Sun seems to be very important, next time eh? Keep a watch on the leaf tips, that's where they start to die off first. Or this variety does. The Leeks and Garlic must be closely related, the leaves are almost impossible to tell apart.

Comment by Sophie on September 12, 2016 at 10:51
Great Elaine! Mine don't look nearly as formed. Their stems aren't as thick nor erect. I think I planted about 4 weeks after yours though? Ended up being in part shade though. Will keep an eye on. Your perenial leek though (from a GV) has started perking up though and the stem actually looks surprising like your pics of garlic above!
Comment by Rob Collings on September 12, 2016 at 8:58

Lovely crop. Thanks for the detail and pictures Elaine.

Comment by Lissa on September 12, 2016 at 4:43

You've done well again with your garlic Elaine, well done.

I planted out and had a good lot come up....which was then smothered by other plants. The aim down the track is to have a bed dedicated to the garlic.

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