Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Braid Garlic

garlic harvest

How to Braid Garlic

I pulled all my garlic a few weeks ago, because the last few years I have had issues with the cloves starting to separate and not storing well.  I had enough that I wanted to try making a few garlic braids to see if that would also help prolong the storage.

I found this nice video tutorial from Gardenerd.com and watched it several times before I got started.

First, I sorted my garlic into small and large piles and found some yarn and a piece of garden wire for each braid.

harvest garlic

trimming garlic roots

I trimmed the roots and brushed off any dirt.

braiding garlic

I twisted wire around one large and two small cloves to get the braid started.
braiding garlic 

I began to braid the garlic.  This is similar to doing a french braid with hair.  Add a piece of garlic and fold to the right.  Then add a piece and fold to the left.  I had to restart several times because the garlic was stiff and it was hard on my hands. If you are unfamiliar with french braiding or need a better visual, watch the video above from Gardenerd. I used the yard to tie up the top and create a loop for hanging.
Over all I found that this was fairly difficult to get right and will require a bit more practice to get nice looking braids.  I am out of garlic, so that will have to wait until next year.  I ended up with three imperfect but functional braids.  

garlic braids

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And the winner is...

Buckbee's 50 Day...I started all my tomatoes the week of March 8 and planted them out the week of May 12.  The first red tomatoes showed up this week which was closer to 70 days from transplant, but easily the earliest tomato in my zone 5 garden.

It is a medium sized tomato and has a tart, fresh tomato taste and a thicker skin.

Seeds for Buckbee's New 50 Day and lots of others are available at Tomato Fest(affiliate link).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bugs in my Garden

I have been seeing a lot of different bugs and insects in the garden lately.  A lot of the herbs and Umbelliferae are in bloom bringing lots of flying insects.  I haven't seen too many honeybees this year, but a few have been buzzing around my oregano this week.

honeybee oregano

I noticed a bee that wasn't moving at all on a daylilly and I looked closer...Look closer...

spider attack

Poor bee probably never saw it coming.  The spider is the exact same color as the flower.

spider honeybee
Add caption

The milkweed is covered with milkweed bugs.  I haven't seen any monarch caterpillars since I took some pictures a few weeks ago.
red milkweed bugs

What bugs are you seeing this week?  Tweet me a picture to @cultivatedinner or link to one in the comments below.