Garden Spaces: Grow These Plants in your Garlic Garden


| October/November 2011

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    Illustration by Gayle Ford

Plant a plot full of kissin’ cousins from the garlic family.

Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla). A tender perennial that’s worth protecting through the winter, lemon verbena has a lovely lemon flavor that pairs beautifully with garlic for seafood, vegetables and many other dishes.

Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea). This ornamental tender perennial, in the garlic family, has the garlic scent in its leaves and roots but lovely and sweet-smelling, light purple flowers. It can be grown in mild climates but won’t tolerate more than light frosts.

Garlic (Allium sativum). Many varieties are available, some large white-skinned varieties, some with pink or purplish skin. Rocambole (A. sativum var. ophioscorodon) is a hardneck variety, which has a scape—a dramatic coiling flower stalk. ‘Silverskin’ is a softneck variety, which lacks a scape and is easier to grow. Plant garlic cloves about 6 inches apart.



Greek oregano (Origanum hirtum or O. heracleoticum). Any dish with oregano will also be enhanced by garlic. Start with a transplant that has a good “pizza” flavor; rub the leaf and smell it to find one you like. Hardy and perennial.

Onions (A. cepa). Usually planted from sets, placed about 4 inches apart; can be grown from seed started in the fall. Plant them shallowly, in the top inch or so of soil. And plant lots, as many store well. In Southern climates, plant short-day varieties (which begin bulbing at 10 to 12 hours of daylight); in the North, choose long-day varieties (bulbing at 14 to 16 hours of daylight). Any onions you plant can be harvested young as scallions.



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