Easy Garlic


People often ask, What is the easiest plant to grow?  Although every plant brings unique challenges and joys, for my garden, the answer to this question is “garlic.” 

Of course, the garlic at Heart & Sole Gardens is not like garlic one buys from a supermarket bin or grows as an annual crop.  This garlic is special, growing from heirloom parent plants established well over one hundred years ago.  While it probably originated with an immigrant pioneer, I call it “Laura’s garlic,” in honor of the woman who grew it on property adjoining our farm and probably used its bounty to create delicious food.  When the property was offered for sale, Richard and I purchased it, both for future farm expansion and to save the garlic!

scapes 2 kinds

Laura's garlic has large scapes; the smaller ones are another variety

A hardy plant, Laura’s garlic thrives, even in cold winter months, when green leaves push above ground.  Scapes emerge from plants in late spring and open to reveal beautiful purple “blossoms,” which are not actually flowers, but a cluster of bulbils, tiny components that, when planted in fall, will produce garlic the following spring.  Laura’s garlic is a hardneck variety, which produces scapes, unlike softneck types that do not.  Several years ago, we transplanted mature garlic in rows, where it multiplies each year, producing a crop that is as versatile as it is delicious.

scape arrangement

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