By Jannie Vaught
Potatoes and onions have been in, all the favorite tomatoes and peppers are showing flowers and even some fruiting. Then a strong wind comes and whirls it around. Every year there is something to repair. Amongst social distancing and face masks and hand sanitizer, the majority of my day is spent alone in the garden, planting, harvesting seeds, or repairing something. last fall I planted Black Radishes. Wow, did they grow, their fast-growing and spicy. So I let about 10 of them keep growing and go to seed as I would like to have some seeds adapted to this climate. They grew to the size of a large turnip and flowers and made 4 wheelbarrow loads full of stems full of huge seeds.
Now that is a good return on a pack of seeds. I dry them in a hanging solar dryer and also use my paper feed bags placing them seeds down stems up into the bags loosely. When they are dry I strip the seeds off the stems and step on them while inside the bag. Then I use a small fan and pour them out into a bucket while the fan blows the chaff off the seeds. While all this is going on my garlic has gone a bit brown and has fallen over. Time to pull garlic. Using a garden fork gently lifts the soil and pull them free. Curing for storage. Do not let the garlic bulbs get wet, do not wash the soil off they will mold. Tie them loosely in bundles or braid them and hang out of the sun in a cool dry place for 2 to 3 weeks. The outside skins will get papery and dry. When their ready trim the roots off and wipe or brush the soil off the outside and store inside in a loose basket or leave them tied. They will last until next year. If you are happy with the bulbs select the biggest unblemished bulbs for planting next year come fall.
Well, it is a busy garden, every day is something new, the adventures never fail to surprise me. I hope you are growing an Epic Garden this year. Having some fresh homegrown goodness will be a wise thing to do in these uncertain times.
Growing Green With Jannie