Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Lance Percival, an English comedian, of a bygone era (That was the week that was), brought out a song about veges, that has long been a favourite of mine.

Some of it went,

My sister Jean's always eating Beans

My little brother Leeks

I just saw Ma eat a piece of Garlic

Everybody duck when she speaks

So, Lettuce get us to the church by half past two

and if you like Beetroot I'll be true to you

There is more but I'll spare you, I wonder if any other ex Pom remembers that ditty. Well no matter, It's just that you'll all be having to duck when Roger speaks when you next see him, as his Garlic harvest has been the best ever. Hopefully it lasts the whole year. (The garlic not the bad breath). You may remember that I wrote a bit about growing Garlic after I went to a Phil Dudman talk at the Nambour garden show. My Garlic was already growing well by then, I had planted Italian Red in my large wicking bed, an old fibreglass ex shower / bath cubicle. The garlic planted was from the best that I had grown the previous year (al la Phil - plant the best, eat the rest). Being in a wicking bed it got good levels of moisture all the growing season and food was supplied by horse manure. It took very little looking after, no pests touched it and apart from weeding to allow no competition it was just a matter of filling up the water reservoir weekly. As you will see from the photos I have a lot of very good sized bulbs. These are now hanging under the veranda out of the rain (ha ha, remember that?). I just wiped most soil off the bulbs and hung them as is without washing. They will be cleaned as they get used.Notice the resident Magpie trying to get a feed of worms, he got quite a few before I covered the top of the soil with manure again to stop him. He has about four worms in his beak here!   I will be saving the biggest and best cloves to plant for next years crop. I will also try to get some decent sized cloves of the other types which are suited to our climate.

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Comment by Sophie on October 10, 2018 at 9:29

wow that garlic looks fantastic!!! well done :) :) 

Comment by Roger Clark on October 8, 2018 at 7:24

Yes Susan, I am sure that you will grow great Garlic once you plant Glen Large. I can let some of you have a few cloves to plant. I'll bring a few along to Dianne's event. I'm sure that you will all have similar success once you get the right seed. 

Comment by Susan on October 7, 2018 at 18:49

Thanks for this clarification on the variety Roger.  Your planting’s then confirm Robbob’s results as well.  Looks like the glen large is the variety for any of us wanting a decent garlic harvest in Brissie. 

Comment by Roger Clark on October 6, 2018 at 15:17

Yep it was Southern Glen, apparently both Glen Large and Southern Glen were bred from Italian Red. I've just requested that Green Harvest let me know when they have it next available.  

Comment by Roger Clark on October 6, 2018 at 15:00

Thanks everyone for your comments. I have realised that I made a mistake when saying that the garlic shown was Italian Red. I did plant this but did not get very big cloves / bulbs. Some of the very small bulbs shown were Italian Red. Theses were planted about a month after my main crop (and alongside)  the main crop which was Glen Large. it is the Glen Large that have grown by far the biggest. It seems to be the one that is best suited to our climate. I will persevere with the Italian Red though. I think that the other garlic suggested by Phil was Southern Glen? I'll need to look back at my blurb on his talk, but as yet I don't know where to get hold of this type.

The soil in the large wicking bed has developed very well and is rich colour and almost good enough to eat, it is mostly based on horse manure, but I'm sure that the secret is to keep it moist, this encourages the earth worms to work their magic. 

I got back home today after a brief stay away to find puddles and 13mm in the guage, you little beauty, keeping it coming!!

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on October 6, 2018 at 8:55

Cold does not seem to be a problem with garlic  they plant it where it freezes in winter planting  before winter  .

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on October 6, 2018 at 8:45

Garlic seems to do best over the cool period. Plant in May, harvest from August onwards. Keeping enough to plant for next year is tricky. I'm keen to hear how others manage that. I keep mine in the bottom wire basket of a vegetable storage unit, close to the floor and open to the breeze. Some keeps, some doesn't.

Comment by Lissa on October 6, 2018 at 8:10

Well done Roger! :) Looks like you have worked out the best growing method.

Comment by Jeff Kiehne on October 6, 2018 at 7:13

When did you plant the garlic seems that in the best climate for garlic  nearly takes all year to grow  may be hard to keep for the next year.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on October 5, 2018 at 20:41

Mine have to wait a few weeks until I get home! 

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