On this week’s episode, the guys talk about growing garlic and elephant garlic in their southern climate. They begin by distinguishing between hardneck and softneck garlic. Travis mentions that softneck grows well in areas with milder winters, whereas hardneck garlic prefers areas where winters can get pretty cold. Greg explains that softneck garlic is what is traditionally found at the grocery store. He then shares his experience with growing softneck garlic. Garlic needs cold temperatures or vernalization, which is the induction of flowering or bulbing. This vernalization period is necessary for the garlic bulb to stratify, or produce cloves. Greg mentions that it rarely gets cold enough in South Georgia for that stratification to take place. On the other hand, the guys explain that they have had success growing elephant garlic. Elephant garlic, although related, isn’t a true garlic. Elephant garlic is closer related to leeks than garlic. They plant elephant garlic around the same time they plant onions. They dig a furrow and plant the cloves with the pointed ends up, about 3-4″ deep in the soil.
On the Show & Tell segment, Travis brings the bottom of an okra stalk from his garden. Due to the cool weather, he recently pulled his okra plants from the soil. He mentions that this is a good opportunity to check for root knot nematodes. From the appearance of these roots, there doesn’t appear to be any root knot nematode damage, which is good. He also brought some transplants that are ready to go in the ground, which include romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts and beets.
On the Q & A segment, they answer questions about soil blocking and pruning Brussels sprouts. Greg mentions that soil blocking is a good technique for people who like to take a long time to do something simple. He explains that the arguments for soil blocks don’t hold water against their heavy-duty seed starting trays. Travis talks about topping Brussels sprouts to get a better harvest. He mentions that once the axillary buds begin to form on the stalks, the tops should be cut with pruners to focus more of the plant energy into the sprouts.