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.
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.
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.
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.
The garlic, though small, is usable. Most of it will be replanted and grow to a proper size next season.
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.
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 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.
Radish leaves, which are essentially mustard greens, do not go to waste. Event plants with underdeveloped roots can contribute to a pot of greens.
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.