Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Around The Garden Garlic and Peppers, More Pictures and Reminder About Free Seed Share and Lecture.

Dear Folks,

When is garlic not "the" garlic?

When it is Society Garlic or Elephant Garlic (but that is for another post).

The gorgeous orchid-like, lavender flowers of the Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), comes in a plain or striped leaf (I have the striped) variations.  This is a perennial member of the larger Amaryllidaceae family.  The "family" includes onions, garlic, leeks and Amaryllis.

Society Garlic is a strong garlic flavored plant.  The leaves and flowers are used not the roots.  It grows in clumps and should be separated every few years.  It will thrive in dappled shade, but can tolerate more sun.

The name comes from a feature people have reported -- no garlic breadth!  This lovely plant is worth adding to your garden, even if you prefer true garlic.

This spring I got two new-to-me sweet pepper plants from Suzanne Vilardi (of Vilardi Gardens) a very unusual and rare with a very long name Paradicsom Alaku Sarga Szentes Pepper from Hungary.  ("Paradicsom" short name.)

I gave the plants a challenge by planting in one of my large pots with a southern exposure.  They settled down but it took all summer (I planted late) and now are pushing out a lot of fruit.  A "pumpkin" or "scalloped" shape they are meaty and sweet.  I am trying to decide if I will try stuffing them with something or just use in salads and pastas when they are fully ripe.  Most of these are about an inch and half or slightly bigger.  Reportedly they can get up to 3 inches across.

I am trying to establish a larger amount of sweet peppers in various areas of my gardens to give me a more consistent harvest.

Sun/Shade Tips.  While the peppers need the sun and warmth it is clear to me from my plants responses, that they appreciate some afternoon shade.  While they grew well in the middle of the summer, fruit not shielded from the sun by the leaves got sunburn.  This is particularly true for the fatter bells and this Paradicsom because they tend to fruit high on the stems, while my Lipstick/Gypsy peppers are more pendulous and hang below the leaf canopy.

I have prepared the bed where I will plant out my garlic on October 1st.  If you want head garlic in the spring, you need to plant no later than October 31st to ensure all the winter chill/cold necessary to force the garlic to produce clove heads.

It looks like a muddy bog right now and that was intentional.  I dug, sifted a bunch of gravel out of it, it was flooded and leveled.  This particularly area gets flooded for watering, so it is necessary to have it level.

I will plant very close together to have "green garlic" to pull through the winter for cooking.  Green Garlic aka Garlic Scallions is used just like a green onion/scallion - only garlic flavored.  Pulling every other plant during the winter gives me this great green garlic and slowly expands the area for the remaining plants to grow fat clove/filled heads.


Free Seed Share at the Mesa Farmers Market this week.

Free Lecture at the Mesa Urban Garden, MUG, Mesa's public community garden.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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