I thought I’d show off my garlic and shallots since it looks like my best year thus far for growing them! I know that’s counting my chicks before the eggs hatch, because the real test will be when I harvest later in summer. However at this stage, they look the best I’ve grown yet.
Last fall I planted 5 varieties of garlic, and 2 varieties of shallots in newly dug and well-tilled beds amended with biochar, organic compost, worm castings, greensand, Azomite and CalPhos. The soil test indicated the NPK was fine if I planned a side dressing of fertilizer in spring. (I did.)
I planted Purple Striped Siberian, a mild hardneck, and Keeper, a hotter Creole hardneck that stores well. The Artichoke softnecks I planted are Red Toch from the Republic of Georgia, with mellow medium heat; Susanville, true garlic flavor but not hot, and a Turban Artichoke, Shantung Purple, which packs some serious heat if eaten raw.
The shallots I planted are French Red and Dutch Yellow. The French Red is quite popular with gourmet cooks; it has a rich flavor and pinkish bulbs. The Dutch Yellow shallots are a creamy-yellow and a bit more pungent flavor that mellows when cooked. The Dutch Yellow store much better than the French Red, and both produce bulbs 1-1/2” to 2” in diameter.
I normally grow leeks every year as well; I use a LOT of leeks in cooking and they are expensive to buy. Sadly, I neglected to order leek seedlings this year. I do have red and yellow onions just beyond and left of the shallots in the photo, so there will still be lots of alliums for my larder and for my recipes!