Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Dig this - potatoes and garlic fresh from the soil

We planted garlic at the Secret Garden Club back in December - on the shortest day of the year, as is traditional. Continual rain and cool temperatures aren't ideal for garlic, but our bulbs have survived and swelled well.

Once dug up, the bulbs need all that excess soil removed. Usually, in July, it's a case of rubbing off dryish dirt; this year the mud needed to be washed off. Garlic can be eaten fresh, but to store bulbs, hang them up somewhere light and airy to dry out until the outer skin is papery - about 2-3 weeks.

In February, we planted our Secret Garden Club potatoes in a bin-bag - an easy space-saving way to raise a crop of spuds. Again, the weather hasn't been very helpful; normally, we would harvest these early Lady Christl potatoes from mid-June. This year they have been about a month late to develop to a decent size. 

The crop can be harvested just by up-ending the  bag in which they have grown. The compost using for growing the potatoes makes an excellent top dressing for the winter.

If you attended our garlic workshop back in December or the potato masterclass in February, do let us know here how you got on with raising your own produce. We'll be harvesting our onions and maincrop potatoes next month - a good few days of sun now should just finish the onions off nicely.

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