Sunday, August 11, 2013

Allium Update



I finally finished cleaning the last batch of garlic. These are Red Chesnok, a Middle Eastern hardneck variety from Georgia. This variety is supposed to be especially good for baking (or how about a batch of Freddy’s Roast Potatoes). Each head has 6-7 large cloves and a few smaller ones. Last year when planting these, I got 45 cloves from a half pound of seed garlic. In contrast, the German Extra Hardy garlic has larger cloves, just 5-6 per head, and yielded 24 cloves from a half pound.


I harvested 2.5 pounds of Red Chesnok and 2 pounds of German Extra Hardy. That’s 4.5 pounds from a pound of seed garlic. A half pound of each was set aside for seed garlic for this fall. I did not weigh the Chesnok bulbs because there was such variability. But I did weigh some of the bulbs of the German garlic. The largest was 1.5 ounces, but most were 1.3 or 1.4 ounces. If you assume an average of 1.35 ounces per bulb times 24 cloves planted, I should have gotten 2 pounds, which is exactly what I did harvest. So knowing the average bulb weight and the number of cloves planted, I can roughly predict what my harvest should be next year.




Finally, I cleaned up the Copra yellow onions that were drying on the back porch. From 6 square feet I harvested 8.75 pounds of onions. That might last me a couple of months. Given how cheap onions are in the stores, I ‘m not sure it is worth the effort and space to grow them given my small garden. Maybe I should try growing a sweet onion instead. Red onions are another matter. They are more of a specialty item used for salads and certain cooking versus a utility item like yellow onions. I grew a few last year and it was a treat to have a red onion available any time I needed one. This year I grew 5 squares of Red Bull onions and they are now starting to fall over. Pulling them is on the task list for next week.

1 comment:

  1. You can try planting onions in long containers single file on your deck to save space. Fill it with compost and plant at home early to get early start. Longer cool season - biger bulbs.


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