The Garlic Harvest & the Squash Take Over

I have not had a minute to myself for a week and a half with our basement renos! Thankfully we’re done to the point where our tenant is now in the apartment and any last minute details will wait until she’s away for a week in August. Back to the garden!

I read everywhere that you should really plant garlic in the fall to have an early crop of healthy, large bulbs. Since we moved in at the end of March and didn’t get started in our garden until mid-April, I didn’t have a chance to do this and thought I would experiment anyways!

We planted softneck garlic, which apparently is prone to make smaller bulbs but is easier to grow and stores better than hardneck garlic. I wanted to plant both to see the difference between the two, but the seed company I ordered from in early spring only had the one option. Planted in early April, the tops began to die down late June signalling that they were almost ready to harvest. Following general advice, I stopped watering after the tops began to brown for about two weeks, then dug the bulbs out with a spoon instead of pulling them by the tops. They were a lot smaller than I had hoped for, but I’m assuming it’s a combination of a) spring planting and b) variety. Most likely spring planting had a lot to do with it. I braided the tops together and hung them to “cure” in our garage for a few weeks – how exciting! I feel just like Laura Ingalls Wilder, or something, preparing my harvest to store over winter.

Will this be tasty? Who knows!

Will this be tasty? Who knows!

Remember we finished off the squash trellis a week or so ago? It seems the squash really like it – they are starting to take over! I love how the squash tendrils cling on to the wire. It doesn’t take very long for the squash to figure out where it can grow!

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The squash take over.

We pulled out the giant hosta that was overshadowing the new hydrangea and killing the surrounding plants, and made a more accessible path to our rain barrel. Dave wants to create a little seating area here next year to animate the corner – I’m hoping for a small pergola with built in swing. How romantic would that be! I would only be allowed to read Jane Austen in this corner.

Hosta-less, but a little more room to move around.

Hosta-less, but a little more room to move around.

Overall, the garden is doing well. With the summer heat in full swing the garden seems quite happy. My herbs are exploding – I was so worried when I transplanted the seedlings because they were so small, but I think they just needed warmth to really get going. Our house is kept so cool in winter, I think we really would need a heating mat or lamp to have really successful seedlings.

Here’s a little tour to show you how things are growing!

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“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies”.

– Gertrude Jekyll

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