Hell and fiddlesticks, the season of vampire preparedness is upon us!
Earlier this year I pulled up garlic that I had planted 1-2 years ago (potentially 2 years ago as I sort of "lost" some of the garlic when the leaves died down too much and then blew away...)
I allowed the garlic to dry out for about 2 weeks in a dark, well air-circulated location and then with MUCH effort and research figured out how to crudely (and CHIC-ly may I say?) make a garlic braid. (okay, so I skipped a few steps here and there that I couldn't really 'get', but it looks braided)
*It's starting to get cold here, so put on all your clothes...* When the weather gets a little nippy (before the vampires do), it's a good time to start planting garlic.
Since I am a huge cheapskate and am not into the gourmet garlic thing yet I use cloves of garlic from the grocery store. This type of garlic is typically the softneck variety that grows easily when planted by individual cloves and once harvested, stores well.
The other type, the hardneck variety has as the name states, has a hard neck but it does not store as well is what I heard through research. It does form however these super nifty curled up greens called scapes when they grow. The scapes are known to be a tasty flavoring or can be made into or added to dishes.
I think I may have seen hard neck garlic at Walmart if you wish to grow it... but don't take my word for it and don't ask me why I was at Walmart.
How to grow (super easy):
I simply take apart my garlic cloves, I need only about 4-6 heads per medium size raised bed (and that's a bit heavy on the planting) and make sure that pointy side is up and under about an inch or 2 of soil.
Then I sit back, confident and unfearful in the knowledge that the vegetables and I are safe from blood suckers.
Even the softneck garlic green shoots can be eaten or added to dishes and when the cloves are ready, what I like to do with them is to roast them in their skins, wrapped in foil for about 25 minutes at medium-high heat and then the garlic is awesome, nutty and spreadable. I just pop the cloves out of the skin into my mouth and then make kissy motions to my husband.
Get that garlic out now or when it gets colder, just at least before the vampiric invasion!