The cool weather is only lasting two days, yesterday and today. But yesterday was fabulous. I came home from work and went out into the garden. I hadn't intended to pull my garlic then, but it needed to come out and it was only in the high 70Fs. So nice. I figured I'd get a few done and finish the next day, but nope. I just kept going and pulled it all out. I just wanted to stay outside in the nice weather.
The German Extra Hardy all looked good, but the unknown artichoke variety that I've been growing for the last few years had some issues. I have rot in some of the bulbs. I wouldn't have noticed, but this year I decided to braid theses softnecks before the leaves dried. In the past I'd tried the other way, but they get too brittle. So I was peeling the outer layer off to get to clean skin and I could see the bulbs were yellowish underneath. That's not good. I hope I got all the rotting ones out as I wouldn't want them to spoil the others.
I've never had a bulb rot like this on me before and here I was with a small handful of bad bulbs. The soil I have is very rich and grows things well, but it has some really bad fungal diseases in it. I had issues with some of my onions rotting out. I've had half my spinach damp off in the spring. I had some of my carrot damp off. I'm not used to things rotting on me. So far it is the one bad thing about the soil here. I hope the garlic stores well. Last year's garlic went all the way to harvest time this year. I'm used to being able to store it all year long. I might not be able to if there is a lot of bad disease inside the bulbs. But time will tell.
At any rate, I wiped off the hardnecks and bundled them into five sections of six and hung them and the softneck braid up to dry in the bike shed. I'm now well protected from vampires. Or at last my bike is. I have a few cloves in my kitchen that broke off when I was harvesting them and a couple weird ones. I'll use those up first. The rest will dry and I'll weigh them up once they are ready for storage.
It was really nice to be able to work in the garden in the late afternoon. I don't remember the last time I could do that comfortably. I like the pleasant weather. I so want more of it.