A few weeks ago I dug the remaining garlic. Today, I finally trimmed down the bulbs for storage. I have already started using them, but I am hoping the remaining 80+ bulbs will take me through the year. Some years I run out well before summer. Other years I have had surplus that overlaps into the new year.
Sometimes I have planted grocery-store garlic, …actually, I have always planted grocery-store garlic. But last year I intended to purchase top quality varieties. However, I waited too long. By the time I bought garlic (late October), all the local growers were sold out. Yep. SOLD OUT.
I managed to find some garlic at the West Seattle nursery. I bought whatever they had, some of which was on my list, some not. Hardneck varieties produce beautiful garlic scapes, which I covet for replacing the garlic in pesto. Softneck varieties lack the scape, but are known for their longer storage times.
Ultimately I planted a combination of White Rose (softneck), Spanish Roja (hardneck), and a few rows from clumps of volunteers from 2010. The (hopefully cured) bulbs will go in the bedroom closet – the closest conditions I have to a dry place 60-70F.
Although it is very very easy to purchase garlic at the grocery store, I love to grow my own. In addition to the satisfaction of producing this versatile and fascinating vegetable, I hate to run out when I am making dinner. Having my own stash ensures this never happens (until at least spring!).