Many of us gardeners are just not ready for our plots to go to bed. We know it's October, but we want to stay up a little longer. I'm no exception, and a post in Dark Creek Chronicles reminded me that October is the perfect time to start garlic. So I put "plant garlic" on my to-do list for the following week, and not long after, a post in Daphne's Dandelions explained how to prepare garlic cloves for planting. I was intrigued by this approach because a) of the mixed results my husband had in the past with growing garlic and b) she had success with this in the past.
The beauty of garlic is that you don't need to order bulbs, though some gardeners do to grow particular varieties. I just headed over to my local supermarket and bought a couple of bulbs. "Super Colossal Garlic" was written on the sign. I bought two for a total of 69 cents, took them home and googled "super colossal garlic," but didn't find much. One site described it as "the whimpy cousin of the California garlic in flavor if not in size." Ouch. But it also added that it was a "nice addition to soups, salads or to a roast." "Super colossal" is also a name used for types of olives and shrimp.Yesterday I soaked cloves from 1 1/2 bulbs in a baking soda/water solution as Daphne did, and today I peeled the cloves and soaked them some more. Daphne had used vodka, but I didn't have any, though I did have some really old gin left over from my wedding reception over 12 years ago, so I used that for a quick soak. I also found some information from Garlic Central about planting the bulbs. Because it contains the antifungal compound allicin, there can be benefits from planting it near some other crops, such as lettuce where it can help keep aphids away. However, it doesn't do well near peas, potatoes, or legumes.I planted my cloves in four different places. At home I'm short on sunlight and at the Minton Stable Garden I'm short on space. I planted around 14 cloves, 6 at the MSG (above), 6 in a backyard plot where I can usually get in a spring crop of lettuce and peas before the leaves shade things out, in a box along a fence behind my house near a spot where basil grew successfully, and in a couple of pots on the front upstairs porch. We'll see if by next August if there will be any garlic ready to add to that first batch of salsa.