Growing garlic ... What to do, when?
If you are anything like me, you may have been planning to get out into the garden this Saturday afternoon. However, all this wind is not exactly making for a pleasant afternoon outdoors. I have headed back indoors and am undertaking a little online plant research instead.
One of my most pressing tasks is planning the harvest and storage of over one hundred garlic bulbs we currently have growing in our garden. We have planted eight varieties including the hard-necked Dunganski, Rojo de Castro and Tasmanian Purple, and the soft-necked Lokalen and Messidrome. Most we sourced from Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes. We did 'score' the Tasmanian Purple from the wonderful Jenny Edlington at the Liffey Valley Market in 2018, and saved the best cloves for replanting this winter.
Dunganski is a member of the Standard Purple Strip Group. It has a lovely nutty flavor when cooked and is apparently very nice baked whole. Late planting and harvest.
So I am taking this quiet moment indoors to figure out when I need to harvest each of those garlic varieties. I am also making note of when I will need to plant those bulbs that I will save from the upcoming harvest. To do this I have turned to the Australian Garlic website. This site is jam-packed with fantastic tips on growing location and requirements, planting and harvest, storage and flavour for around thirty commonly grown varieties of garlic here in this country. A detailed garlic glossary is provided to help you better understand the 'expert' lingo. If you are growing garlic, check it out now! Don't say I didn't tell you ;)
And another tip ... Mark Sunday 15 March 2020 on your calendar now. The annual Tasmanian Garlic and Tomato Festival will be held in Selbourne, approximately 30 minutes drive from Launceston. Tino Carnevale from ABC's Gardening Australia will be there, as well as many local garlic and tomato growers. If you want expert advice on growing garlic in Tasmania, you really need to be there. In the words of the Festival organisers:
"It's a day steeped in everything tomatoey and garlicky. With tastings, produce, guest speakers, competitions and more, it's a great day out for the whole family in the glorious Tasmanian countryside"
What's not to like about that?!