Garlic & Asparagus – Autumn
Planting garlic in October/November is the best way to give your bulbs a good start. Last year my garlic bulbs were planted late October, survived being buried under 15 inches of snow which turned to ice, but come spring they poked their heads through the soil and in summer gave us a fabulous garlic crop, which we will still be using in 2012. And the aroma and taste of newly dug up, fresh garlic is delicious.
Shallot Eschalote Grise is a good tasting shallot, perfect for making risottos and used especially in French cuisine as they are perfect for both the delicate and robust sauces that accompany steak, lamb, chicken etc. I use shallots a great deal – for instance, if I don’t want my mixed salad to be too strong (and the pink shallot rings look pretty). Like most families, we get through quite a supply of onions in a year, so if you have the space, it is a good crop to grow.
I first grew Asparagus when I shared an allotment with friend Sandra. I researched and built my Asparagus from scratch, getting 1 year crowns and waiting patiently for the next 2 years for it to literally bear the fruit (well, spears really). To pick your own asparagus at 5.00pm then eat it at 7.00pm is heaven. Once growing it doesn’t take much looking after – it needs it own bed, but a small amount can be grown in wide planters. The odd weed needs removing, some feeding, a sprinkling of table salt in Autumn plus a twice-yearly scattering of GrowMore or general food, and a blanket of mulch to keep it warm during winter, and hey-presto, Asparagus to eat in May and June. Brilliant.