Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Just before Christmas last year, I was surprised to find 6 heads of garlic in my vegetable basket from 2013's harvest. The heads were much larger than last year's rust affected crop and so were easy to date. How on earth I missed them in there is a mystery.
I was even more surprised to find some of the cloves were good enough for cooking - they had retained a strong flavour and were relatively firm. Chopping them ready for the casserole I was making revealed the beginnings of a green shoot inside... and that got me thinking.
That green shoot suggests the cloves are still viable for growing and as they've survived over a year of storage (most garlic either shrivels away or starts to shoot at the start of the next growing season), I could have the potential for a very good strain on my hands.
So I've gone through the pictured remaining 3 heads and selected the cloves which are firm. I composted many more, but I was left with 16 fat cloves and 21 slightly thinner ones. The latter in particular may not have enough oomph to do that well, or will be good enough for green garlic at best, but I have high hopes for the 16 fat ones.
I've started them off in modules just to see how many cloves are viable. Like the bulbs I wrote about a couple of years ago, this is another example of me breaking the rules, just to see what will happen. I'll plant any out on the allotment (well away from the white rot area) that show signs of healthy growth over the next couple of weeks.
The variety is Solent Wight - has anyone else found this variety (or any other) with a longer than expected storage life?
Update: The garlic sprouted, but there wasn't enough oomph left in them to grow properly after a month or so.