A wet winter and recent spring rain has delivered a fantastic boost to our biggest-ever garlic crop!
Back in May, we planted three-and-a-half thousand kilograms of garlic cloves on our Kangaroo Island farm.
We hoped this would be our biggest crop yet...
To draw a good comparison for you, we planted one-thousand kilograms last year in May 2020 a few months after the bushfires.
We were prompted to dramatically increase our crop this season due to an uptick in demand for our fresh Aussie garlic.
It appears the weather has rewarded us for our determination!
We are now gearing up for a huge harvest, with about 35 tonnes of fresh garlic expected to be available in December...just in time for Christmas!
How the season panned out
We had a very late start to the season this year, with no rainfall until the second week of May. This meant our seeding program started a little late.
But the mild temperatures meant our plants didn’t freeze in the ground while above average rainfall allowed our crop to receive a decent soaking.
Now, with more sunny skies and some springtime rain, our garlic is looking healthier than ever. Our crop is now an abundance of lucious, leafy growth and the plants are maturing every week.
Seeing our garlic plants so happy and healthy gives us a lot of confidence ahead of harvest in late November.
How we get ready for harvest
Soon, in October, the stalks that shoot out of the garlic bulbs (referred to as scapes) will begin to flower. These flowers appear when the plant is fully matured.
These flowers come in a variety of colours like purple and white. While they’re quite pretty, we actually snap them off!
We will also start weeding our crop, which we do by hand and without any nasty chemicals or pesticides.
The other benefit of the above-average winter rainfall is that our dams are full, which will allow us to soon irrigate our plants with enough water throughout spring.
About three weeks before harvest, we will stop watering and let the soil dry down. Harvesting dusty garlic is much better than harvesting a heap of wet muddy garlic!
We then proceed to cure the garlic for 4-6 weeks. This ensures our garlic maintains a good shelf life and is of the highest quality.
We cannot wait for our huge harvest in late November and to deliver our beautiful garlic right from our farm to your kitchen table just in time for Christmas.
Watch this space!