Monday, November 15, 2010

November Allium

I decided to post about allium today as I am a novice at growing them and need much needed advice on how to harvest them.


Last year was the first attempt at growing them. I bought 2 bulbs of Spanish garlic (hard-neck variety) from the central market and grow about 10 cloves from it in June. Instead of all white skin, the garlic skin has a bit of purplish skin which I have never since in my whole life before because I have been using the one imported from China almost forever before I live in Australia which trigger my interest on growing garlic. All of them produce nice size bulb exactly like the one we bought and we had no trouble growing them. However, as I had miscommunication with Lenay, I did not realized that she kept the big cloves for next season planting in plastic bag instead of just leaving it in dry places. Imagine my horror when I was cleaning the kitchen and found them all black and mouldy. So this year, I decided to grow more garlic and plant them in containers because we had success with it last year the ones grown in containers. We planted garlic from June last year but this year we planned planting the cloves early in end April. However, I could not get the same supply of Spanish garlic when I went searching in the central market. The only available garlic that time was the one imported from China. I searched for some local grown garlic in the local market and bought some. I think  I made a bad judgement, although the cloves sprouted nicely it was not that healthy and with lots of rain this year compare last year half of the garlic plant died. However the Spanish garlic cloves that we managed to rescue from last year  never gave us problem (sad only 3 cloves). I think I should stick on this variety as it does well in our place. In July when I went shopping in Coles I bought one bulb of Mexico garlic and planted 3 cloves to see how happy it will grow in our garden. At the moment, the Mexico garlic plants looks very promising.

One of the earliest planted garlic (local garlic) in a small long containers look so wilted that we decided to harvest them. The garlic bulb were small but at least we don’t have to buy them at the moment. Have anyone notice that garlic prices goes up every year? Spanish garlic is the one at the most front and big in the picture,it has been left too mature because it was hiding in between carrots before I found it and the rest are the local garlic.

















To harvest or not to harvest, is it ready? Left the day before, right is picture taken today (local garlic). It is garlic produce season here in Adelaide. I assume it is because when I went shopping for fruits in Central Market there were heaps of it.


The youngest leeks growing in the garden and in polystyrene container. Leek is so slow growing. Finally today we got to harvest some decent size of leeks.


















Germination of spring onion seeds in spring this year for us is not really good below 20%. I wonder what could be the reason of this. We have 2 variety of spring onions growing over winter and ready to be pick anytime. One of the spring onion is Red Welsh onions which in winter will develop red colour stem.

red welsh spring onion DSC00051 CHIVES

Yippee the chives are loving the weather now and producing more leaves. How many times did I thought it will not survive the winter and will not grow more leaves. Chives is not easy to grow from seeds as the germination rate is so slow. We grow from seeds but I hope in the future the chives will be a bigger clump so we can grow more by divisions.

DSC00052 DSC00053 Do you think the chives will be good companion for kang kong (water spinach) living together in this polystyrene box.  The kang kong is still a small seedlings hiding itself behind chives.


Brown onions grown from seeds. It looks similarly like spring onions at this stage of growth.










Onions grown from sets in August at the other side of the fence of our house. This is our first trial. Do you think it will produce onions? I am starting to have some doubt now.

This is the only allium which we are growing now for November update on allium. How about in your garden?


Icy BC said...

Looks like harvest time, and such wonderful selections!

miruku said...

Always love to see what is in your garden, so productive. By the way, i made Marigold spray today, haha... thanks for inspired me. And i also started to save flower seeds from today,, thanks to you again, after reading your previous posts :)

fer said...

Like always you have a very nice crop. Hope you get a very nice harvest!
I am growing chives too. they seem like they are finally poking from the ground.

rainfield61 said...

Look like you are having a very good harvest.

p3chandan said...

You have so many crops for your kitchen garden and a good harvest for your kitchen!I only grow spring onions and parsly since I love to have them in almost every dish I cook like fried rice, meehoon,soup, omelette...:)

Makarimi Abdullah said...

Harvest time...good to your kitchen! You deserve to get this rewards...Happy gardening!

Malar said...

So productive garden! I love your post!
I have planted onion long time ago just to use it for making soup. I don't know much on harvesting it.

Eden said...

I haven't tried planting garlic but I will try this coming summer. Your onions are looking good. Great photos.

Unknown said...

That is great, everything look so nice.

Sue Garrett said...

I leave our garlic in the ground or pots until the leaves are yellow and dry. I have a piece on how we grow our garlic on my website here

Also I don't plait ours until the tops die back and are dry.

We have had problems germinating spring onions but the ones called bunching onions seem to germinate better.

Chives we have growing all over the herb bed as it seems to seed everywhere.

Your leeks look brilliant. Ours are quite slow to grow this year.

Must admit we only grow onions from sets. I'd leave the onions until the tops go brown as until then they are still growing. Apparently one leaf produces one onion layer so more leaves mean bigger onions.

Autumn Belle said...

I have never grown garlic before and I really don't know how to grow them here. I don't think we can use the cooking garlic to grow right?

Mr. H. said...

Your alliums look fantastic. We always harvest our garlic when around half of the leaves turn brown. The bulb should have separated into cloves at this point rather than 1 big bulb.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Dear all thank you for the sweent comments, advice and ideas, I really appreciate it.

Milka~ I hope your marigold spray work well. If it works I will soon follow suit.

GLA~ Thank you for the link very informative. The recent harvest came to rescue as there is almost no garlic in the kitchen. I will try bunching onion next time too as it is more reliable just bought one packet of seeds.

Autumn Belle~ Cooking garlic in Malaysia is imported from China, they might spray some chemicals so it won't sprout. But sometimes if you keep it in fridge for long time it may sprout. Try to avoid not growing them in rainy season as the easily rotten if the roots have too much water.

Mr. H~ I will wait then when half of laeves turn brown.

JGH said...

I just heard that when growing onions from sets you should leave the top just a quarter inch out of the dirt. I've never tried this but didn't have much luck with seeds this past year. Hope to get some sets for the spring.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana,
Interesting post, I personally would be encouraged to grow garlic after seeing how easy it was for you. Even here, garlic is getting ridiculously expensive.
Thanks for the info,