Early this week I dug up the garlic. It at least is one of the things that has done well in the garden this year. Well this year and part of last, as it was planted in October. Last Fall I put a fairly thick mulch over the vegetable garden. A mulch of partially rotted horse manure and shavings. This Spring I thought I would try planting directly into the mulch, without tilling it in first. Quite a few of the vegetables didn't seem to like that, and some crops were a failure. Thankfully not the garlic. It was just a small plot, about 8' long and 3.5' wide. We had had some hot dry weather for the previous two weeks, and I made sure the garlic didn't get watered. The soil wasn't as dry as I thought when it came to digging them out, and they were harder to dig out than I expected. I pretty well had to get the fork under each one to lift it out. I was happy with what I saw though. And a day later we had more than 24 hours of rain. Perfect timing.
Some of those bulbs were huge.
I think it was last year that I actually Googled about harvesting garlic. Glad I did, because I was pretty clueless. Garlic can bruise easily, and get sunburned. You handle it gently when harvesting and get it out of the sun. Now I would have thought that you would leave it in a warm sunny spot to dry. Wrong! Here is an excellent site with more than you ever wanted to know about garlic.
We tidied up the garage a bit and set up some trellises with netting over them, and they are our garlic drying rack. When the weather warms up and the sun comes out tomorrow, I'll open up the garage door so we get a decent flow of air passing over those garlic bulbs, and they dry as they are supposed to.
I did a rough count and there are about 140 bulbs. They'll be at the market in a few weeks.
Every time I come out of the basement into the garage I am hit with the potent smell of garlic. Won't have to worry about vampires, that is for sure.