Yup, it is October, and it is getting cold. Time to get those cloves in the ground. Last week I gave the potato onions a home, this week it is garlic's turn. I had read a very informative piece over at Daphne's Dandelions a few days ago, and I think I will try one of her methods which involves peeling and soaking your cloves before planting them out. Daphne claims great success with this method, so now I just need to go check the proof on my bottle of vodka and decide which cloves will the best for seed. The trouble is that a large head of garlic doesn't always mean large cloves are inside, in fact many of my small heads have few, but large cloves. From what I understand, the larger the clove the better when it comes to next year's crop.
I ordered some hardneck garlic (German Extra Hardy), and will also be planting 3 other varieties that were harvested from the garden this year (a mystery farmer's market variety, Chet's Italian Red, and Inchelium Red- both softnecks).
**UPDATE** I did in fact soak the cloves in a baking soda mixture w/ some minerals and seaweed, but only for a couple of hours as the rain was coming. They were quickly peeled, then rinsed and soaked in rubbing alcohol for about a minute, rinsed again, and then run out into the garden. I had a friend over so I didn't pause to take pictures as I already felt a bit rude for peeling and planting garlic while she was here, but what else is there to do when 3 or 4 solid days of rain are coming?
These are all the discarded cloves. Some of these just may be bruised, but I do not have enough experience to differentiate between fungus, nematode entry hole, or "just a pimpled//discolored/brown spot" so aired on the side of caution.....but look at all these cloves- maybe I should cook them up? I hate to just toss them in the garbage. Thanks to all the discarded cloves I am shy of filling two 4 x 4 beds as I had intended. Maybe I will just raid my stash and plant some more out once the rain stops.