May 23, 2024

Let the state of the stems and leaves be your information

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Q. The garlic that I planted final fall has produced robust, tall vegetation with curly flower stems (scapes) that I used to be advised to chop off and use. I did this final month, and now I’m questioning tips on how to inform when it’s the proper time to dig the bulbs.

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A. Garlic bulbs are often dug through the second half of July, when roughly half the highest development has turned brown. The timing will differ with the backyard’s location and rising circumstances. Areas absolutely open to all-day sunshine will produce matured bulbs sooner than partly shaded plots. Let the state of the stems and leaves be your information.

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It’s a good suggestion to dig a trial bulb or two forward of harvesting all of them. The bulbs ought to have properly developed cloves, clustered tightly collectively, every enclosed in its personal papery cowl.

When the bulbs are left too lengthy within the floor, the cloves start to separate. These overgrown bulbs don’t often retailer properly.

Q. My backyard’s garlic patch will quickly be able to dig up, whereas I nonetheless have useable bulbs left from final yr’s harvest. I’m undecided whether or not to discard the outdated bulbs or discover some use for them

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A. Until the cloves in final yr’s garlic bulbs are virtually utterly dried out, I’d use them. The best way I exploit garlic “extras” is to peel the cloves, slice them in half to take away the bitter core, drizzle them with oil and roast them in a heavy, coated pan.

I don’t roast the cloves on the generally advisable excessive warmth. I roast them at round 325 F solely till they’ve totally softened. I don’t need them to burn.

Cooled, the roasted cloves will be saved for 2 weeks within the fridge. Mine by no means final that lengthy. The softened cloves have many makes use of — in salad dressings, blended into mashed potatoes, chopped or sliced into vegetable dishes, soups and stews.

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