End of August Update

Here’s what we’ve been doing . . . .

Picking blackberries: It’s a spidery, hot, prickly and buggy sort of activity.

blackberries

Cleaning up ferns:  Here’s are before and after photos.  I’ve only got about half a dozen more to go.

Before

After

Harvesting our tomato and pepper crop:  I can not take any credit for this.  The Man of the House has been doing a great job with the crop cages.  He waters the plants and zips the cages up every night to keep the deer out.  I have been making some great things with the veggies though.  I’ll share a new recipe I found soon.

August Crop Cage

Growing Garlic in Montana

I recently posted instructions for growing garlic.  These work great for growing garlic in the Puget Sound area.  But what if you live in a different part of the country?  Your planting times may vary, so do some Internet research for growing garlic in your location.

I did this for some family members that live in Montana:

Garlic Head

Egyptian Walking Onions

When we lived in Bellevue my parents gave us some Egyptian Walking Onions.  We really like them.  When we lived in our rental for four years we managed to keep a few alive by growing them in pots.  We recently made our first harvest of the onions in our new home.

Walking Onions

The Man of the House planted them last year.  They stayed in the planting bed over the winter and grew nice and big.

Here are some photos from 2007 of the crazy topknots these onions can get.

Walking Onions Topknot

Walking Onions Topknot

You can use walking onions in three different ways:

  • eat the stalks – Use them as you would green onions or scallions.
  • eat the bulblets – This is the topknot of the walking onion. Be sure to save some to replant.
  • eat the bulb – The taste is strong, more like a red onion.

Growing Garlic

Garlic from our 2015 harvest

Garlic from our 2015 harvest

We’re growing garlic again! You can plant garlic in the spring, but I do it in the Fall. Overwintering like this gives the garlic a head start and makes for a higher yield. Here’s how I do it:

  • Plant during the first week of August
  • Separate the cloves and plant them root side down (pointy side up)
  • Plant the cloves 1 foot apart with 1” of soil above the tip
  • You should see green shoots in the fall
  • If winter lows get below 20°F, mulch the shoots to protect them from the cold
  • Fertilize in the spring when you notice that they are growing (I like Osmocote Plus)
  • Re-apply fertilizer as necessary (read the label)
  • Water regularly during the early summer
  • Stop watering when the leaves start to die
  • Harvest from dry soil when about half the leaves have died (but some are still green)

Notes:

Some people plant closer together or deeper. I have sometimes planted the cloves so that there is no soil above the pointy end (because I wanted to see the green shoot as soon as possible). So you can adapt this method to your own situation.

I grow hardneck garlic. I like them better than softneck because they have fewer, larger cloves that are easier to peel. They also have a good strong flavor that I like. Hardnecks are better adapted to the cold than softnecks, but softnecks keep longer.