Harvest Monday, October 10, 2016 + Growing Garlic in Container

Last of the fall crop of container grown Purple Kolibri Kohlrabi (seeds were sown 7/9/16).


Purple Kolibri Kohlrabi

The above kohlrabi were grown in window box. They did much better than the ones grown in the garden. From now on I am going to stay with window boxes.

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Harvest the last of the container grown China Express Daikon and the first of the Tae Baek (a Korean daikon) also container grown.

As the photo below illustrate, the China Express Daikon is twice the length of the Tae Baek.


Top: China Express Daikon. Bottom: Tae Baek Daikon

About 1/3 of the root of both daikons grew above ground, if you look carefully you can see the soil mark.

I prefer the texture and taste of the China Express, it is crisp with a hint of sweetness.

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In my September 19 post I illustrated the different results of the Win-Win Choy due to spacing. Happy to report that the thinned out choy in the window box caught up and grew robust, proving it is never too late to thin.


Win-Win Choy

In the above photo the plant on the left is from the thinned out window box.

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Growing Garlic in Container

This year I experimented with Growing Garlic in a Container, and yes, it is doable.

The following is a step-by-step account from start to harvest.

1. Early November, 2015, I placed whole heads of perfect German Red (a hard neck) garlic in a paper bag and put the bag in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator where they remained until the end of February, 2016, checked every now and then to make sure they were still in perfect condition.
(In order for hard neck garlic to form bulb (head) it needs to be exposed to temperature below 40°F (4.44°C) for at least 6 (up to 12) weeks.)

2. End of February, 2016, filled container with Pro-mix (you could use compost instead) enriched with well rotted cow manure. Because garlic prefer slightly acidic soil (6.2 – 6.8) I mixed in some peat moss as well. Also sprinkled on some granular fertilizer. Ready to plant.

3. End of February, 2016, removed the heads of garlic from the refrigerator, separated the cloves and planted the largest cloves (pointed end up) 4-inches (should really be 5-inches) apart and 2-inches deep (do not plant close to edge of container).


German Red Garlic in Container

Container should be at least 14-inches deep with good drainage. I prefer to use a straight-sides  rectangular or square container but a straight-side round container will work as well. For this experiment I used a foam ice chest.

4. Covered cloves, watered well and left outdoors on the south side of the house where it received full sun, watering every now and then to keep soil moist.


All 11 cloves of garlic sprouted and grew well (forgot to note date and take photo of this stage).

5. Mid-June, 2016, all 11 plants sent out garlic scapes which I harvested and used in cooking.


German Red Garlic with Scapes

Harvesting the garlic scape will result in larger bulb.

6. Mid-July, 2016, garlic plants were ready to be pulled.


7. Garlic plants were bundled together and hung in the shed to dry.


8. Mid-August, 2016, garlic were ready for cleaning.


9. Saved 3 of the largest bulbs for planting and enjoyed the remainder.

The is my first Growing Garlic in Container experiment, will be repeating and updating the above as needed. I am also planning to experiment with soft neck garlic. Need to do research to see if there is any difference in cold treatment between hard neck and soft neck.

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Started putting the garden beds to sleep for the winter. Lots to do but at least I got started and hopefully everything is completed before it is too cold to be outdoors.

Also started the chore of cleaning and sterilizing the seeds starting equipment and the other containers and trays. This is a messy job that I prefer to do outdoor so must be completed before the outdoor water supply is turned off for the winter.

Must remember to drain the garden hoses.

Oops, I need to prepare the garlic bed/s in the garden and get the garlic planted before the end of the month. Cannot decide if I want to stay with just the 2 varieties, German White and Duganski, that I have been planting for the past 2 seasons or add another variety. This is serious decision 🙂

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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24 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 10, 2016 + Growing Garlic in Container

  1. I’m jealous. Animals ate all the leaves off my kohlrabi when they were half-sized so they stopped growing.

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Amazing harvest! I seriously couldn’t take my eyes off from those purple kohlrabi…excellent, Norma.

  3. I have just started harvesting my summer salad and herbs. Still waiting for the veggies to do their thing so I can start with homegrown vegetable recipes.
    Have a beautiful week Norma.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. dvelten says:

    Beautiful kohlrabi. I didn’t replant so no fall goodies for me. Your container garlic experiment is interesting. I would have left the container outside but you did your cold curing in the fridge. I never would have thought of that.

  5. That is a great write-up on the container garlic Norma! Also an interesting observation on the kohlrabi doing better in the container. I may have to give that a try. I do have Alpine daikon radish growing in container and in-ground now, and it will be fun to see how they both do.

  6. Margaret says:

    Wonderful step-by-step on growing garlic, Norma! I’m sure it will inspire many people to give garlic growing a go. I really dislike sanitizing & cleaning up all of the equipment too – but it’s one of those tasks that, once it’s done, it feel so good to have everything clean and organized once again 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      Thanks, I hope so. Yep, sanitizing & cleaning up all of the equipment is not my favorite chores but one that has to be done and yes, it feels good once it is completed.

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    Thank you for your detailed instructions, I am going to give it another go! I’ll get john to pick up a few heads next week when he passed by the Mennonite farms. Refrigerating them is a better way to do it because critters cont get to them!

  8. Bill says:

    Your produce is beautiful, as always. Those radishes look great. I’ve never grown them but I’ve read they’re good for breaking compacted soil too.
    It’s my understanding that here in Zone 7 (southern Virginia) we can only grow soft neck garlic, but I’m tempted to try hard neck to see what happens.

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    Thank you for the detailed instructions for growing container garlic, Norma. Still haven’t decided whether to plant some of my own but, if I do, I now know where to come for the information. Seems like most of us are clearing out garden beds this time of year. I’ve started the vegetable bed and finished the back yard’s flower beds. Hate to see them gone but spring will be here before we know it, 🙂

  10. Pingback: Harvest Monday, March 20, 2017 – Seed Starting + Container Garlic | Garden to Wok

  11. Pingback: Harvest Monday, July 17, 2017 – Containers Harvest | Garden to Wok

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