Video: Do I Need To Pick Off The Arrows On The Garlic
Your friends are partly right: you need to cut off the arrows of this garlic, but not all. Correctly, this garlic is called not winter, but arrow. Why do you need to do this? The fact is that the plant for their formation, and then for flowering and the formation of seeds - small bulbs - spends a sufficient amount of nutrients that could go to the formation of larger cloves in the heads, that is, a larger harvest of garlic.
Therefore, experienced gardeners and truck farmers cut or break off arrows on this type of garlic - as it is more convenient for anyone. They do this either as soon as they appear on the plant, or more often when the arrows begin to curl into a spiral. But gardeners still leave a certain number of arrows in the garden. Why are they doing this?
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First, in order to determine when to harvest. Gardeners with experience know: if you overexpose the shooting garlic in the garden, then the heads will begin to crumble right in the soil. We will have to collect not whole heads, but individual cloves, which, moreover, will then be poorly stored. The fact that the garlic is ready for harvesting will be shown by its inflorescence, or rather, not an inflorescence, but a case, in which the seeds of garlic have ripened - small bulbs.
At the end of the arrow of the garlic, a dome-shaped inflorescence first forms, and after the end of flowering, these same bulbs are formed there, which are hidden in a small case, similar to parchment paper. When the bulbs reach maturity and increase in size, they push against the small case, and it bursts. This moment is a signal that the garlic in the ground is ripe, and you can start harvesting it. So, as you can see, you need to leave a few arrows on the garlic bed. Then you won't miss the harvest time.
Much more arrows can be left. They may be needed for the reproduction and rejuvenation of garlic. How to do it? It's very simple, but it will take some time. First, you will collect the largest bulb seeds from the burst case. Dry them a little, and then sow them in a small garden in rows in the fall - not far from each other. In the spring they will rise, drive out the leaves. By the fall, these bulbs will turn into the so-called one-toothed.
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Sometimes they are quite large and can be used for food or for cooking. But experienced gardeners choose the best specimens and plant them before winter in the same way as ordinary chives. Next season you will get normal heads of garlic instead of single cloves, and garlic free of viruses and diseases that plants accumulate during long-term cultivation through the usual cloves.
In addition, it is beneficial: the ripe heads of garlic remain for the needs of the hostess - preparations, cooking, and one-tooth are planted on the beds. For example, the famous gardener Luiza Nilovna Klimtseva has always done this. She generally refused to grow garlic through the chives, and every year she replenished the stocks of one-cloves grown from the bulbs that were going to plant. Experts recommend planting these one-toothed in rows, leaving a distance of 15-20 cm between them, and 8-12 cm between the one-toothed teeth in a row. Planting depth - 3-4 cm, it is advisable to mulch the rows with humus or peat on top.
You ask: what to do with the arrows removed from the plants? There can also be several options here. The most successful, in my opinion, is the use of them for food. You can fry - this is when they are still juicy and tender, you can skip through a meat grinder, add salt and use as a fragrant paste for spreading bread to borscht or other dish, you can grind and freeze, and in winter add to various dishes when cooking.
By the way, you can do the same in the event that arrows suddenly went off in your garden with a bow. This happens sometimes when the storage regime of the bulbs and sets has been violated. This is unpleasant, of course, because you will not receive the harvest of onions - the arrowhead plant will not form a bulb. Therefore, you should not postpone the removal of arrows.
But from them, until they are coarse and still juicy, you can cook a delicious dish: cut the juicy onion arrows into pieces up to 1 cm, then pour sunflower oil into the pan, warm it up and pour the chopped arrow pieces into it, salt. Simmer, covered, until tender. And you will get a delicious dish, somewhat reminiscent of fried mushrooms. These arrows are very good with hot potatoes, but they can also be eaten with bread.
And, finally, experienced gardeners also use garlic arrows and its leaves to prepare an infusion, with which you can fight carrot flies, aphids and spider mites without chemistry.
If you don't want to use the garlic arrows in the way described above, you can simply collect them and carefully place them in the compost pile.
Photo by Olga Rubtsova and the author
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