Time To Harvest Garlic & Radishes

The garlic plants which grew all winter around the perimeter of this round bed have turned brown. They are sprawled out and no longer upright, an indication they are finished growing for the season.

garlic

 

I dug up a few plants a couple weeks ago and found the bulbs and cloves small but as big as they will get this year.

 

 

garlic

 

This morning I dug up the rest of the garlic.

Now, with the garlic out of the way, I can mulch around the pepper plants.

 

garlic

 

I spread the garlic out on the walkway so the soil clinging to them will dry and brush off more easily. I will then hang the garlic in the shade to cure for a few weeks.

garlic

 

The garlic, though small, is usable. Most of it will be replanted and grow to a proper size next season.

garlic

 

Radishes growing around the perimeter of this square planter are also ready to harvest. They will keep better in the refrigerator than in the ground where they would soon become woody and pithy.

radishes (12).jpg

 

I was late planting radishes this spring so a lot of the radishes failed to fill out. Despite a disappointing harvest the yield is still more than we are likely to eat.

 

radishes

 

Radishes keep for an incredibly long time properly stored in the refrigerator. I have read advice on how to store radishes so they will “keep for one or two weeks (exclamation point).” Their advice is the exact opposite of how I store radishes. There are radishes in the refrigerator right now that are every bit of two months old and are still almost as good as when purchased. I had no idea when I bought them that there would be radishes coming out of the garden before the purchased ones were consumed.

This is how I store radishes and many other vegetables: I leave a little bit of stem and the entire root intact. This keeps the radish alive. Refrigeration will slow continued growth.

After washing the radishes I make sure they are thoroughly dry before wrapping them in dry paper towel and storing them in the refrigerator crisper in a plastic bag that is not sealed shut. I used to store produce in plastic bags closed up tight. Not any more. They keep better if they can breathe. All this, of course, is merely my opinion based on my own experience. Purely anecdotal, I know. Take it or leave it.

My mom was a proponent of the damp paper towel storage method. As you may be able to see in the photo, the radishes put off plenty of moisture on their own (this after just a few hours in the fridge). As time passes I sometimes switch out the dampened paper towels for dry ones.

radishes

 

Radish leaves, which are essentially mustard greens, do not go to waste. Event plants with underdeveloped roots can contribute to a pot of greens.

radishes

radishes

 

This small amount of cooked greens will make a significant nutritional contribution to an upcoming meal. Boiling the greens in an open pot without a lid helps preserve the green color and prevent them from turning dark. Ask someone else about the science behind that. I’m just a brick and stone mason.

radishes



 

 


7 thoughts on “Time To Harvest Garlic & Radishes

  1. Your brick raised beds are so neat and perfect, I like them a lot. Did you make them? If so why did you make one a square and one a circle?

    The garlic explanation was so interesting, I had no idea about a lot of that info. Seems so worth it to grow your own garlic… You mentioned replanting it so more would grow… Why didn’t you just leave it in the ground? I am so interested!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reason for the round planter is: Our property is trapezoid shaped and doesn’t have 90º corners. I built the planters at the back corner of the lot three feet off the back and side property lines. Rather than build an odd shaped planter in the corner I put a round one there. The original plan was to build a series of square planters along the two lines each one 20 inches smaller than the one before it. After building the round one and two square ones I ran out of ambition.

      I really don’t know a lot about growing garlic except that it is usually planted in the fall. I was afraid the bulbs might rot if I left them in the ground. I thought it better to cure them so they will store until time to plant at the end of summer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, you did a really great job! They are just so perfect and such a great size. That’s funny you had a method to your madness with the squares and circle. I think you at least need to make another circle, even it out (2 and 2) and grow more food!

        I guess I was asking because I am looking to plant something late fall and over the winter that would pop up in and be done growing by Spring so I could still grow all my summer foods.

        I didn’t even think of them maybe rotting if you just kept them in the soil…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! They were a lot of work. I like not having to bend down so far to weed and tend the plants. The planters are at the perfect height for sitting. I do have two other round planting areas but they are down on the ground. That part of the yard is pretty much taken up with planting beds.

    Besides onion and garlic some green leafy vegetables grow well in winter, like kale, collards, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbages etc.

    Like

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