I gave a talk at Riverland Nursery in Ft. Myers this morning about vegetable gardening.
My favorite part is showing giant photos of ripe tomatoes sliced in half and describing their flavors: Cherokee Purple, smoky and complex. Yellow Pear, like tart yellow grape that pops in your mouth when you pop it in your mouth. Brandywine: perfect balance of acids and sugars.
When showing slides of hot peppers I ask who loves them. Out of 50 people, four raised their hands. But when the topic changed to garlic, half the room smiled and waved. Garlic is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, almost anywhere in the landscape, and one of the tastiest. When you grow your own, the young bulbs are tender and pungent, not hot or bitter like the old bulbs that have been sitting in the store for over a year.
This afternoon I broke up some bulbs of planting garlic named Burgundy and poked the cloves between the New Guinea Impatiens in the front yard.
Because of our short growing season (really, with no snow?) we plant garlic in the fall and harvest before May when the heat and rains melt them. Therefore they don’t “bulb up” like in California. Bulbs or not, home grown is the best flavor you’ll experience.