Planting Garlic

I’m a tad late for planting garlic in Maine’s Midcoast during early November, but we had a four-day stretch of 68 degree weather, and I was ready to go. Allium sativum, a bulbous perennial that belongs to the onion family, is adored by gardeners and cooks for its culinary and medicinal properties. The tasty bulbs are propagated by cloves typically planted in the fall for harvest the following summer. It takes 290 days until maturity from a fall planting. The 700 varieties of garlic can be categorized into two main groups­—hardneck and softneck—and it is the hardneck I favor this year. “Hardneck” is defined by a central woody stem, fewer but larger cloves, intense flavor, long storage potential, and strong field performance in cold climates. Hardnecks send out a flowering stem, or scape, shortly before harvest which must be cut off in order to send energy into the bulb for further growth.

—Photos and text, Christine Macchi

On Garlic


Autumn is Here






At The Garden




Around the House

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