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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