As January comes to an end, I thought that it was time to check in with the garlic plants. In the main vegetable garden, I have one long raised bed. In that bed I planted two garlic varieties last Fall and then covered the row with a tunnel of remay fabric. When I pulled back the remay cover I was both surprised and pleased at how large my "Russian Red" garlic plants were.
It's only the last week of January and these plants are already pushing 5" in height. I haven't ever grown this variety before, so I don't know what is considered "normal". But I do know that the "Red Russian" cloves that I planted were really big, so I am expecting that the plants will follow suit.
To the left of the "Russian Red' are my "Chesnook Red" garlic plants. As you can see, these plants look completely different. But, I did grow this variety last year. So I now have the experience to know that this a normal growth pattern for "Chesnook Red".
Last year it kept putting out long, horizontal-leaning leaves, never gaining much in height until maybe May. Then suddenly the plants shot up. Within weeks they looked just like all my other garlic varieties. But until then, I know to expect this unique low growth pattern.
My final variety, "Tzan", is planted in its own raised bed along the west end of the house. These cloves were planted later than the other two varieties, and this bed receives much less sunlight. So I am pleased to report that all of the cloves are now up and most of the plants seem to be thriving. I am still thinking about covering this bed with a remay tunnel too. While I am not concerned about bird damage so much anymore, I do think that the added warmth that a tunnel provides would be beneficial.