Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Garlic Mysteries

Last fall during the Thompson family reunion in Meridian, MS where I am known as Velma's Dottie's Larry's Debbie, I struck up a conversation with one of the cousins about gardening. Needless to say we talked for a long time and stopped only because we were called away for lunch. We all know how good the food can be at a family reunion and this was no exception.

Well, to my surprise and delight about 6 weeks later, I received a package from this cousin in the mail. It was a Priority package filled with garlic bulbs - elephant and another variety. WOW! I bet the mailperson was glad to be rid of that package because you guessed it, the garlic smell was strong!!!

I planted the bulbs in the fall and they did great during the winter even with the record low temps for the state of Mississippi. We had over 72 hours with below freezing temperatures and we also received a record snowfall - about 6 inches. I know! I know! Some of you are laughing at me but remember I live in the DEEP south!! As a child we would get out of school if they thought it would snow and I can remember sitting at the window with my nose against the glass shouting every few minutes "Was that a snowflake? Wait! I am sure I saw a snowflake!" Sorry... back to the garlic!!!

I planted the bulbs and they starting growing.

But when I harvested them, they looked like onions. They did not have the seperate bulbs. Is this what they call an onion round? If so, should I save them and plant again in the fall?

The smaller bulbs that the cousin gave me looked like this when I harvested them! Still no clue here in what I am doing or what I did wrong!! HELP!!

As you have figured out by now... I am lost and have no CLUE in the garlic mysteries!!





  1. Your cousin sent you some garlic and some potato onions. The potato onions are the ones in the last picture. You did nothing wrong. You do need to cure both the garlic and the onions though.

  2. Robin, thanks for the input. So why is the garlic one giant pod or clove or what ever you would call it? Can I dry them and make garlic powder? I have them curing in my garage.

  3. Your welcome. The garlic must be elephant garlic. I have no idea how to make garlic powder.

  4. Hi Debbie, I am so glad you asked how to make garlic powder. I had to clean out the balance of my garlic from last year. I did a search and made some. It's very easy. Just slice the garlice thin, place on a baking sheet and cook at 150. I have a convection, I used that. It took some time to dry. I'd say a little over an hour. After it is dry, let it cool and grind. Mine came out very fine...Thanks for the idea!

  5. Robin, you did this today? YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! I have a dehydrator that I plan to use. Do you think I need to wait for them to finish curing? How do I even know that they are finished curing? Are you laughing at ALL my questions? I am so out of my comfort zone with this garlic and POTATO ONIONS!! I found today where someone dried their bell pepper and then made pepper powder. (That sounds funny!) But I am thinking it would a great way to sneak in the flavor with my kids. They can't PICK OUT the powder!!

  6. I don't mind all of the questions. The curing is complete when the skins are dry and the necks are tight.

    I grow cayenne peppers, dry them and grind them for cayenne pepper powder. This year I planted paprika peppers to make ground paprika.

  7. I think I was amazed because I never considered BELL pepper powder.

    Thanks for all your encouragement and helpful advice.

  8. Debi. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just found yours and have really enjoyed it. It's fun to read about someone gardening in such a different setting and climate then myself.

  9. I don't know much about garlic either, as I've only grown it twice, and never have grown elephant garlic. But from what I understand, garlic isn't ready to harvest until the cloves separate. Here in the northeast, that is around July 4th. I just checked mine, and they were almost separating, but I'm going to give it another week or so. But if you wait too long, the cloves separate too much and the bulbs fall apart. But maybe that isn't true with elephant garlic.
    If you want to read more about making garlic powder, go to Deliberate Agrarian. He makes garlic powder to sell and has lots of information. I really want to try it this year.

  10. I enjoyed this post about Garlic, I too was not familar with how Garlic grew and how to manage it for cooking and or eating..I bought a wonderful book all about Garlic, but it's also nice to hear it being discussed:o)

  11. Gingerbreadhouse7, I am glad you enjoyed this post about Garlic. I didn't realize there was so much to know about growing Garlic. :-)

    I planted all the Garlic Rounds and hope to have lots of Garlic this year.