It is just about that time of year again!
Right around the end of May to the beginning of June, garlic plants send out a shoot from the top-center of their leaves.
If you want to grow large garlic bulbs, your best bet it to snap off these little shoots. Doing so basically tells the garlic plant to focus its growth on the roots rather than reproduction.
Below is a picture of one of the shoots beginning to emerge from the center:
I wait until the center shoot is long enough to start to curl a little bit and then I snap them off.
Why wait? Because they have a use. Collect all the shoots and make a stir-fry with them. They add a pleasant garlic flavor to whatever you are cooking. Here is what I consider a full-grown shoot that was ready to snap off:
Now, wait a couple more months for your garlic to focus its growth on the roots (aka the garlic cloves) and come the end on July (or when the bottom leaves start to brown a bit) it is time to harvest your beautiful garlic bulbs!
Remember to dry them out and save some for planting again (more about that to come in a future blog)
Q-tips…Let me explain…
Ever have vegetable plants in your garden that have all these beautiful blossoms but never really produce anything beyond that?
Your plants may need help with cross-pollination. Many plants have male and female flowers. The flowers need to exchange pollen in order for the plant to produce any fruit (or vegetables).
If you do not have enough pollinating insects in your garden (ex. honey bees, bumble bees, etc.) then you may have to help your plants exchange pollen.
Take a Q-tip and lightly touch the center of the flower where to pollen is. Go from flower to flower to help spread the pollen and increase the cross-pollination possibilities.
If you do this, should find that you have a bit more growing than just flowers
Easter is just around the corner… and that usually means hard-boiled eggs!
If you are growing veggies or you have some house plants sitting around, water them with your hard-boiled egg water.
When you hard boil your eggs, instead of straining the water out when they are finished, scoop the eggs out of the water and let the water cool to room temperature. Then go around to your plants and water them with the water you boiled your eggs in.
Why, you ask?
Egg shells are packed with nutrients – especially calcium. When you boil eggs, some of that nutrients is transferred into the water. Your plants can absorb these nutrients when you water them.