Everything is moving along at a faster pace this spring and the garlic is no exception. Last week while a friend was visiting we were looking at the garlic bed, amazed at how tall it is this year, when she noticed that the scapes were beginning to form. The scape is the flower of the garlic plant and should be removed to divert the plant’s energy back to the bulb beneath the ground. A few years ago we discovered that these scapes were tasty morsels, not to be thrown on the compost pile but chopped and sautéed or made into pesto and frozen to be enjoyed later on bread, pasta or to flavor most anything with a mild garlicky bite.
Last year I had these available at market in mid-June. This year they are ready to cut now and will be at market tomorrow and next week, maybe the week after as well. Like people, they do not all mature at the same rate!
I know some of you grow garlic so a few tips…………it’s pretty dry this spring and garlic likes to be well watered during bulb formation so give your plants a good soaking between rain showers. Cut the scapes and use them!
For many of you this is planting time. Here are some “best practices” to follow:
Of course you have already prepared your garden soil with a good organic compost and eliminated any weeds. Try not to transplant in the heat of the day and preferably on a calm overcast day. Plants suffer a bit of shock going from their cozy pot that’s been protected in a greenhouse to the real world of soil, sun and wind. I soak my transplants in a mild solution of liquid fish and seaweed and then prepare to water in thoroughly.
If directly seeding into the ground (beans, peas etc) the same soil preparation applies but a seed bed needs to be kept evenly moist in the top inch of soil where the seeds are. This means lightly watering daily. A seed needs to absorb moisture to germinate and the idea is to get it to germinate quickly ahead of the weeds. Once they are above ground then watering can be less frequent and more thorough.
I could go on and on about raising plants so if you have any questions stop and see me at market from 8 a.m. to noon or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the garlic scapes we will have the lettuce and zesty mix at market as well as a selection of garden plants!
By Maggie Fusco
The Wood Road Salad Farm
Maggie Fusco and Justin Kopczak have been happily married and growing great produce since 2002. While we are not certified organic we use all natural fertilizers, our produce is pesticide-free, and harvested within 24 hours of coming to market. We called our farm a “salad” farm because in the beginning we grew mostly lettuces and greens but then one crop led to another, and every season became a new adventure in growing!