Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The garlic harvest saga

We hoped to harvest with the tractor, but it only lasted a half day before rain stopped us
 Garlic harvest was the hardest ever in 19 years of growing because of the hail and 5" rain we got on June 4th, and the rains that came as harvest started. The June hail pounded the soil for an hour and compacted it so there was an inch and half of hard-packed clay on top. Underneath was still pretty wet. The tractor harvester didn't work well, but then I modified it so it looked like it would be OK. We harvested half a row before the unexpected rains came and turned everything to mud. No more tractor harvesting! It dried out with a few days of hot sun, to the point the mud hardened and was extremely difficult to get off  of each head. This made harvest take 4 times longer, and now the bulbs are decaying quickly in the ground. We are getting showers every afternoon now. Today- we went crazy digging it out of the ground and "whapping" the mud off and made a lot of progress on the last few rows. Thanks to Jock, Ryan, Caley and Sam for your help!

Some of the garlic looks OK, some very tiny, some with weird shapes, some decayed on the outside but OK on the inside. What a year!
Right before the rain. (Bootsie walking the rows)

The very muddy, hail damaged garlic- not as pretty as usual

A few slimy days of harvest
 The good news is I haven't found the "White Rot" disease so far!

As they say there's no better garden than next years' garden!

Jock helping with the extra-strenuous digging

Big mud balls were extremely hard to remove

Happy to have a harvest in spite of everything