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Lifestyle, Vegetable Garden

Harvesting the garlic

August 19, 2011
Harvesting the Garlic in August

Harvesting Garlic Arno in August

Back in October last year I wrote a post on how to plant garlic. Today I harvested the bulbs.

They have a long growing season but once planted and all you have to do to care for them is keep the bed weeded – that’s it! They’re hardy (remember last winter) and survived our fluctuating temperatures and rain throughout the spring and summer without bolting.

I’m delighted with the results, loving the big bulbs and looking forward to eating home-grown tasty garlic over the coming months.

Having dug them up, the plants are now on a rack drying out thoroughly before I plait and store them.  In the meantime, we’ll be cooking some of the bulbs as we need them and keeping a few aside to split and plant this autumn.

Does anybody else grow garlic and do you have any favourite varieties?


I’m only human ….

August 16, 2010

This morning I made plans for a day in my veg patch.  I’d spent the last two sunny days tidying up the front garden, composting, mulching and pruning which had cleared my head sufficiently to tackle all the jobs in the veg patch.

The jobs have been mounting up you see, and I’m afraid I’m slightly guilty of doing what many of us do when that happens – going into denial.  I’ll do everything else except what I’m supposed to do (hence this blog and not the tax return).

So yesterday I set up a play date for each of my children with the idea of giving myself ‘a day off’ to catch up today.

As I was mowing the lawn on Saturday I mentally clocked up the jobs:

Mulch runner beans with wilted comfrey leaves

Chop the tops off the runner beans and compost them.
Weed the runner bean bed and mulch with comfrey leaves.
Check all the brassicas for caterpillars & aphids, remove all the browning leaves and mulch.

Swedes need thinning

Thin the swedes as they’re starting to crowd as they grow.
Pot up some of the strawberry runners into compost ready for the new patch.
Sow a leguminous green manure in the empty potato beds.
Lift the onions, shallots and garlic slightly with a fork to ‘harden off’ prior to harvesting them.
Thin the carrots and weed the last outdoor bed.
Sow some seeds – summer cabbages, red russian kale, winter lettuces.

….. and that was just the outside, I’m not even going to think about the polytunnel until those have been tackled.

However, I hadn’t reckoned on the massive washing pile that seemed to appear overnight and had to be sorted and put away, or the three loads waiting to go back into the machine, so of course they took priority.

Then playdates had to be rearranged as there had been cancellations (and subsequent tears). Then I was asked to play cards (you can’t keep saying no, can you). Then the five children all wanted lunch…..

So at half past one I finally went outside and … was raining….. and the garden was/is covered in flying ants……..(where did they all come from)………. nooooooooooooo.

I can cope with the rain, I can put up with the ants if I have to, but a house full of unsupervised children who’ve all decamped back indoors, out of earshot, I can’t cope with.

So that’s why I’m sat back in front of the PC and none of my veg garden jobs have been started.  I’ve gone from total denial to chomping at the bit and it looks like I’ll be putting off my outdoor jobs ‘until tomorrow’.  And to cap it all the children are squabbling.  Joy.

So when my hubby comes home this evening and asks me why I didn’t do any of the jobs in the garden, I may not be responsible for my actions.