Friday, July 17, 2009

Time to Order Garlic! Yes you can grow it in the North

When you read about what is needed to grow garlic, it doesn't sound like something that would do well in Illinois. Winters here are wild variations of freezes, thaws and dumps of large quantities of snow. Garlic they say likes sandy loam and warm conditions. Pfffft. Garlic does just fine in compost amended Illinois clay. It's just more work to harvest!

Anyone can grow garlic and if you want to try it now is the time to order it. You plant it around October for a harvest next year. If you live in the north like me, I recommend ordering your bulbettes from a northern company. Your yield next year will be bigger than if you get your starter bulbs from the south. I don't really know why. I guess those that have been raised in our conditions are less likely to freak out when they see them again. I recommend this small, family company: They have 100+ varieties of garlic ranging from the sweet and mild to the hot and spicey. Their prices are reasonable and they grow without chemicals. Their website is a fun read. They firmly declare themselves to not be farmers or green thumbs and their misadventures related to learning how to grow garlic are documented on their site. Their step by step instructions are all you need to have great garlic success. I just placed my order and was bummed to see that a few varieties are already sold out. Give garlic a shot, and Good luck!

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