Balcony garden in late August … garlic harvest …

While all Malaysians are busy celebrating their country’s national or independence day, the hubby and I shall be going for a belated Singapore National’s Day celebration at the Singapore Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva. And naturally … I look forward to being able to enjoy some delicious Singaporean dishes at the event … and, hopefully, to making new friends with other Singaporeans as well 😉

But before leaving for Geneva, I decided that I would write a quick entry on my garden harvest … the last entry for August. (I cannot believe that we shall be entering September shortly … and then the summer season will soon be over! 😦 )

I thought that maybe some of you might be interested in finding out what had happened to my garlic plants.

It was still growing very well before it got infected with rust.  The rust started to spread slowly but surely … and soon it had begun to cover most of the plants. Fortunately, I was assured by what I had read on another blogger’s entry that as long as the garlic had sufficient time to develop, I could just cut off the affected parts and allowed the garlic to continue to grow underneath the soil before harvesting them.

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And so I followed her advice  and cut off the  affected parts … first just the leaves and then the whole top parts!

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But I saved the garlic scapes (or the flower) as they had looked so pretty. I had read that they could be cooked and eaten … but not being much of a cook, I am ashamed to say that I did not so, but just let them dry up in our kitchen!

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With their missing tops, I must admit that the garlic had looked pretty miserable! But the most important thing was that they did not die after I had chopped of their tops.

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But of course, I was not very sure … as it was the first time that I had done so … and so, not wanting to take unnecessary risk of losing the garlic bulbs by letting the plants grew topless for too long, I decided that I would harvest the garlic bulbs ten days later.

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And true enough … the garlic bulbs remain unaffected by the rust developing on the plants above the ground. These were my harvest from the seven small bulbs that I had planted last autumn. Altogether I managed to unearth eight garlic bulbs from my two planters. And one of them (the one on the far left on the picture above) was the hardest to pull out as it was the largest. It took me a while to get it out of the soil.

Lest you think that there is a typo error above … eight garlic bulbs from seven small ones? … it is correct.

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One of the small garlic bulbs that I had sown in autumn last year somehow sprouted two plants (the two plants on the right on the third picture from the top). And these twin plants gave me these two medium-sized garlic bulbs. This was how the two were unearthed, slightly attached to each other.Nice, no? 🙂

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And these were the garlic bulbs about two weeks later. They had to be aired and allowed to dry off away from the sun. So I left them under the balcony table for a few weeks … at least until I came back from my trip to Singapore!

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And these are the final products after having removed the dried skin and trimmed the roots away a few days ago … more like those we often see in the shops and supermarkets. They might not be many … but they are fresh and home-grown! 😀

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