Mini GarlicDespite the harvest and growing season being still in full swing, it’s time to turn our thoughts to next year’s crops so this week in the Kitchen Garden we will be ordering our seed garlic and autumn planting onion sets.  These will be planted out later in September to give them a good start before the winter.  This year we grew lots of variety of garlic both in the ground and in raised beds as a trial to see which variety and method were most resistant to the rust that has plagued us for the past few seasons.   The trial was really useful and as a result, we will be planting both Early Purple White - one of the earliest to crop with bulbs ready for harvesting from as early mid May and Red Donetsk one of the strongest tasting garlic into our raised beds again this year.

During this busy time of year, when the hours melt away with the harvesting and watering that needs to be done, my most invaluable tool is my gardening journal.  At the end of the summer, it is easy to forget tiny details of crops, pests and harvests.  Very early on in my gardening days I got into the good habit of jotting a few notes down after a day spent in the kitchen garden.  It doesn’t need to be war and peace, but it is so useful to look back at the end of the year and be reminded of small but significant details from the garden.  Our mini garlic trial is a perfect example.  When ordering the seed for next year I can flick back and check on the varieties that did best.   It also helps to jot down any useful recipes or storage ideas for vegetable gluts.  At the time of writing I am still researching new recipes for the huge numbers of french and runner beans that are arriving in my kitchen.  Any suggestions from anyone will be most grateful.