Jessica Walliser
October 28, 2010

Garlic scapes
Photo by Jessica Walliser
I planted this year’s garlic by the “dark of the moon.” We’ll find out at harvest time what difference it makes.

Garlic! I’m strangely excited by the idea introduced to me by a gardening friend: He says to plant your garlic bulbs “under the dark of the moon.” 

I first thought that meant I had to go out in the middle of the night to plant it but then, but then he explained it to me. It means you should plant the bulbs during the dark (or new) moon in the month of October. I’m not sure what difference it will make, but I gave it a try. 

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He also told me that no matter how deep you plant each garlic clove (2 inches, 4 inches or 6 inches), if you plant it during the dark moon, come summer when you dig them all up, each and every bulb will be exactly 4 inches deep. Needless to say, I’m a sucker for an experiment so I tried it. As I was planting, I set some garlic bulbs shallow and some deep. I’ve never gardened with a ruler in my hand, but, by golly I’m gonna have one come July when the garlic is ripe for the diggin’! I’m so curious about it.

I found a local garlic farm (Enon Valley Garlic Farm) at our town farmers’ market and bought some varieties I haven’t tried yet. I split each head with my Mom so we could both experiment (though I didn’t share the “dark of the moon” tip with her lest she think I’ve officially gone garden batty). I bought Spanish Roja, Symphony, Bogatyr and Silver Rose.  The garlic varieties range from mild to spicy (though I don’t remember which is which). I thought it would be fun to try the different flavors in different recipes and find out more about the diversity of garlic. I have always grown Music, which I love and will always grow, but I’m looking forward to adding new favorites to my list. 

Oh, and Happy Halloween everyone! I guess I won’t have to worry about those pesky vampires this year—that’s always good news.     

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