2010 – My first attempt at garlic was a total disaster. I scavenged through Woolworths for sprouting garlic bulbs, and planted a whole bed. They just sat and looked miserable for months and then got attacked by a plague of aphids or thrips (not sure which because it happened while we were on holidays and no 1 son dealt with it).
March 2011 – This year I have read more. I have turned the bed, added heaps of home made compost and added lime. They like a sweet soil. I even bought certified bulbs, planted them in jiffy pots to give them a good start (and give me time to prepare the bed) and then into the ground at the suggested spacing.
What a waste of time planting in jiffy pots, within 2-3 days the roots were coming out the bottom of the pots and I had to get them into the ground before it had time to settle.
I decided that there is no point growing garlic unless I have enough to last us for most of the year – and I want to try plaiting them to hang on the verandah, so once again I have two beds, but I have interplanted the rows with turnips, fennel, spring onion, carrot and radishes all of which are growing really well (not the carrots – this will be my last attempt at them too).
Unfortunately I haven’t yet managed to grow enough onions to have enough to pickle, but pickling onions can be bought cheaply at the market and in fruit shops at some times of the year. The taste of home made pickled onions is so good it is worth the effort.