Little friends, and garlic mystery solved?

Well, we’ve passed our forecasted high of the day and have reached 30C/86F, with the humidex putting us at 35C/95F, this afternoon. We did, however, get RAIN this morning! I was awakened by the sound of thunder, so I quickly went outside to make sure the cats and birds had food before the rain hit. The storm blew past us, but it did start to rain while I was still outside. I’ll take the nice, gentle rain, thank you very much!

Unfortunately, it looks like this will be the last rain we’ll have in a while, and tomorrow the smoke is supposed to be back. What rain we did have never reached the fires up north. 😦

While doing my evening rounds yesterday, and checking the old kitchen garden (the floating row covers are doing their job; no signs of critters trying to get under them, and our carrots are recovering!), I stumbled on a pretty green friend!

It was just hanging out on the leaf of one of the flowers that made its way through the layers of mulch we put on this garden, two summers ago. We’ve seen a lot of frogs this year (likely because all the ponds and ditches have dried up), but we don’t often see the green tree frogs.

It didn’t seem to like us giants hanging around, so we let it be, though I must admit, it is very tempting to want to hold it.

I also was able to get a picture of some furry friends.

Rosencrantz and Nosencrantz were calm enough to just watch me as I went by. Toesencrantz, unfortunately, is more skittish and was hiding.

I so want to boop Nosencrantz’s nose. 😀

While the girls and I were checking the garlic beds, I showed them this odd garlic.

It looks like garlic is forming inside the stem, and this one is getting pretty big. I’d noticed another had started to show signs of this happening a few days ago. This is only in the Racombole garlic, which is split between the two garlic beds, so the girls started looking around in the other bed, and we found several more.

This one was the strangest looking one, and it may explain what’s happening.

This looks like a garlic scape! This might explain why the Racombole seemed to have fewer scapes than the other two varieties. Instead of growing out the tops, as they should have, the scapes look like they got stuck in the bottoms of the stems in quite a few of the plants. Since they didn’t get harvested, bulbils are now forming inside the stems, eventually bursting through. Only this one had the rest of the scape emerge from the stem for us to see.

It also looks like something tried to give this one a taste!

In theory, we can keep the bulbils and plant them in the fall. Hardneck garlic are bi-annual, growing seeds in their second year. Planting the cloves, rather than the bulbils, and harvesting the scapes by passes that, allowing for large bulbs with lots of cloves to form. If we planted bulbils, we sould get small bulbs that are basically one big clove. Kind of like the garlic we had to harvest early, because the plants died back so soon.

It should be interesting to see the bulbs that form under the plants that have these trapped bulbils growing in their stems. I would expect they would be smaller bulbs, though with conditions this year, I expect all of them to be smaller. I don’t expect to have any suitable for planting next year. This year, for our fall planting, we are looking to double the amount of garlic we plant. I should order them soon; they will be shipped when ready for planting in our zone, so ordering early will not be an issue. We will just have to decide where we want to plant them this fall, as we rotate things.

I am finding that half the fun of gardening is planning out next year’s garden! 😀

The Re-Farmer

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