Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Veggie Garden Update ~ November 2008

I am amazed that I actually have something to report about my veggie garden in NOVEMBER! Although, it is admittedly, a short report. For more veggie garden going's on check out Tina's blog, In The Garden where you will find links to other garden bloggers reporting on their veggies.

I finally got around to planting my Egyptian Walking Onions and my garlic on one of the nice days at the beginning of November. While looking for someplace to buy garlic bulbs (other than the grocery store), I came across Egyptian Walking Onions and they sounded so interesting, I had to try them. The description, according to the Burpee site, is as follows:

"Each bulb produces a clump of stalks atop which form bulblets of hardy scallion-size onions. Held high above the plants these “floating” onions offer an early harvest of very sweet scallions in the spring. When left until summer they become much hotter in flavor. You can eat either end, but usually you eat the bulbs from the ground and plant the top bulbs for more onions. If not harvested the top bulbs will fall over and replant themselves, thus beginning their “walk” across the garden. "

So I will let you know in the spring how they turn out and we will see if they walk across my garden.

This year I really branched out when it comes to garlic. In the past I just planted the cloves from whatever garlic I may have had laying around the kitchen, even though this is not what you are supposed to do. And sometimes I wouldn't plant any garlic but bulbs left in the ground from the year before would sprout and that would be my next years crop. But this year I thought I would order some bulbs of the proper type for my area.

I found Gourmet Garlic Gardens on the web and since they offered several different variety packs I chose them as my garlic supplier. They also have a great website with all sorts of garlic history and information about many different varieties. There are two main types of garlic, hardneck and softneck. Softneck varieties are what are most often found in grocery stores. They store a long time, have many smaller cloves, and should be able to grow pretty much anywhere. Hardneck varieties form a stalk (scape) which curls at the top. These generally have fewer but larger cloves and tend not to store as well. But they do grow best in cold/cool winter areas (like Pennsylvania).

I ordered a hardneck garlic sampler which would grow best in my area. You don't know ahead of time what varieties you will receive, it's based on what they have available, etc. I received 4 varieties, with two bulbs of each one except one which had three bulbs. The varieties I received were Carpathian (Rocambole), Purple Italian Rocambole, Slovenian Rocambole, and German Extra Hardy (Porcelain). Rocambole and Porcelain are two of the three distinct families of hardneck garlic. Purple stripe is the third but I did not receive any of those. Rocamboles should store for 5-6 months, while the Porcelains store 8-10 months. I'm really looking forward to trying these different varieties.

I ended up planting one bulb of each of the four I received. That should give me plenty of garlic next year. I plan on using the remaining bulbs now so I can get a taste of what to expect next year. I can't wait.


Frances said...

Hi Cindy, how exciting to try and new types of garlic. We can only grow the softneck here in the south. I will be interested to see your curly top hard neck kind, it is supposed to be very flavorful. Just keep track of what is what where you planted them and then after harvesting. I got two fancy kinds, had them labeled in the garden, lost the labels and now don't know what was what. They look exactly the same after harvest too, so keep track! My daughter in law has those onions, I need some!


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey Cindy, thanks for the information on garlic. I will check out the site you provided. It's too late for me to plant them this year but maybe next.

Daphne said...

I planted German Extra Hardy too, along with a few others. I can't wait to taste them next year. I haven't grown garlic in ages.

tina said...

You sure are trying lots of garlic, so lucky to have all the room. I am very excited about your garlic. Also those walking onions. I was looking at Pinetree Garden Seeds catalog last night and they strongly recommended these walking onions. They did refer to Burpee, and also said they are ornamental or edible. They should be great! I have your link. I am also going to go visit Daphne and get her garlic planting. ttyl

Gail said...

Your veggie garden is beautiful! I love the furrowed rows! I can only admire since I am not a veggie grower...gail

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I've raised the Egyptian walking onions, they are interesting, but be very cautious, the WILL end up everywhere and become a pain in the you know what if they ever get out of control!
Just wanted to say, too, that I enjoy reading the WWII journal, that was such a terrific idea, and a great tribute to your husbands grandfather!

Cindy said...

Hi Frances ~ I understand completely about the labels. I was having a time just keeping them straight before planting because you know I have an exuberant helper who likes to get into everything and mix them up :) But I did put markers and I made a diagram for future reference in case the markers get lost/moved/faded, etc.

Marnie ~ I have to say I was late in planting as well and should have done so in October but hopefully everything will still come up in the spring.

Daphne ~ Oh, I will have to keep a watch to see how your German Extra Hardy does as well. I'm excited since it has such a long storage time and big cloves.

Tina ~ you would think I'm afraid of vampires here! Isn't it funny how you read something and then you see another reference to it right away?

Gail ~ The veggie garden always seems to look best in the beginning and the end of the season. The middle is just too full of weeds! You can veggie garden vicariously through me any time :)

Nola ~ Thanks for the warning! I'll make sure I keep them in order :) I'm glad you find the WWII diary interesting. Right now it is kind of repetitive but Pearl Harbor day is coming and it gets very interesting then as he served in the Pacific. I am only sad that we only have until sometime in 1942 when this journal was filled. I don't know if there was a subsequent one or not.

joey said...

I've never grown vegetables and am most impressed, Cindy! I once tried growing garlic in my herb garden but the bulb rotted ;( I adore garlic (can't cook without it ... once teased teaching a cooking class for children that I slip garlic into everything but cookies) and do grow garlic chives.

perennialgardener said...

I've never grown garlic before Cindy so I look forward to seeing how your walking onions & garlic bulbs do this winter. I guess you will be harvesting them next spring?

Cindy said...

Joey ~ I know what you mean about garlic. It is such a necessity. My poor husband had to do without it for many months when I was pregnant as it made me so ill, the smell, the taste, the thought of it. Luckily I recovered.

PGL ~ I think the walking onions in the spring but the garlic not usually until July or so. At least that has been the case in the past. But I will let you know how it turns out.

Rose said...

Cindy, you are quite the garlic gourmet! I really don't know much about garlic and have never tried planting it; thanks for all the information. I can't wait to see your Egyptian Walking Onions. I saw them this summer on one of Beckie's and my trips to the Master Idea Garden. I'd never heard of them before and wondered what they were. If I knew how to include a link to that post, I would, because I had a picture of them. Someone then explained what the "walking" part was in a comment. It will be fun to see yours!

By the way, congratulations on winning the Blotanical poetry contest! I haven't seen the poem yet, but saw the notice in the newsletter. You'll have to post your poem here:)

TC said...

Looks like a fine garlic garden you got there Ms. Cindy. I bet it does great.

Thanks For 2 Day said...

Hi Cindy, I just wanted to say congrat's on winning the acrostic/poetry contest. I haven't been on Blotanical long...just a few days...so just read about that today! Jan

Cindy said...

Rose ~ I will have to look back on your posts to find the walking onions. I'd like to see what I am getting myself into - ha!
Thank you about the contest. It is actually posted on the Blotanical Site under news I think. I don't know if I'll be posting it here right now though as it was about Daisies and well I don't have any Daisy pictures, it's wintery, etc. I was so excited and humbled to win. Some great poems as competition.

TC ~ Oh I hope so. I have to keep the vampires away you know :)

Jan ~ Welcome to Blotanical and thanks for stopping by my blog and for the congratulations. I'm off to check out your blog. It's always nice to find new ones.

Sarah said...

I like your new picture Cindy!

Sue said...

You have been busy! I didn't know there was more than one kind of hardneck garlic. Mine are starting to go bad already, and I didn't get any replanted. I have lots of plants in my veggie garden, though, and if I thin them in the spring, will still get a crop. Maybe I'll get those used up, then. :o)

I see someone did warn you about the Egyptian Walking Onions. A person doesn't need very many of them.

Anna said...

I think it sounds like fun to give them all a try and save some for the now too. It's probably a good burglar repellant.

Cinj said...

Oh yay. I'm going to grow garlic this year too. It's nice to hear what others do to grow plants in their garden. I like the idea that some garlic bulbs plant themselves and walk across the garden. Maybe I should get some of them.

Liisa said...


I am looking forward to growing some garlic next year. I may be asking you for some tips! And, I'm looking forward to hearing how your walking onions do - they sound like they'll be pretty tasty!


Cindy said...

Sarah ~ Thank you !

Sue ~ Isn't it awful when garlic starts to go bad and you still have so much of it. Have you ever chipped and dried it ? Or sometimes I have frozen the peeled cloves to use in spaghetti sauce.

Anna ~ HaHa! Yes, and vampires too.

Cinj ~ I can't wait to hear how your garlic turns out. Do try those walking onions, I don't want to be the only one with them all over my garden ;~)

Liisa ~ yes, now is the waiting game. Waiting for next year :) but I will keep you informed on their progress!

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