Growing Scrumptious Garlic

    Listen 00:52:57

    The best tasting garlic is always home-grown! Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden, will help you get your garlic in the ground now for harvest next Spring! Plus: Mike speaks with Charlie Mazza, a knowledgable tour guide from the Morris Arboretum about their tree tours. And your fabulous phone calls.


    Question of the Week:

    “This year will be my first attempt at growing garlic. In one of your previous questions of the week, you state that “the best way to plant garlic is right in the ground.” Since you force so many of your callers to reveal whether they grow in flat earth or raised beds, I thought I’d turn the tables and ask you to clarify what you mean by “ground”. Should I plant my garlic in a raised bed or flat earth? Obviously, my raised beds contain the loosest, richest soil, but I’m afraid of the winter cold.”

    — Kelly in Point Pleasant, New Jersey; a proud member of WHYY, WBJB, WNYC, KRVS, and NJTV!

    Learn more about growing garlic »


    • growing garlic

    Highlights from show:

    Fruit Trees

    Josh from Southwestern Missouri likes fruit trees and wants to produce trees in his garden, but questions why his tree hasn’t grown since it has been in the ground for a year. Mike suggests for him to remain patient until about 3 to 4 years. He says don’t be cavalier about moving your trees around, because he might be taking a hitchhiker with him. For advice he tells him to wait until he starts seeing flowers and then prune the trees for airflow so the branches come out sideways not straight. In the meantime he tells him to take care of them well, because if he lets the fruit grow too large it’ll become a disease fest and unhealthy site.

    Gardening during a Drought

    Devon who lives in New Jersey is interested in relocating to southern California. She at the present time has a vegetable garden and wants to know if she’ll be able to properly continue it when she moves to California with all the excessive droughts. Mike advises her having a house with a grey water system (a system that diverts excess shower and sink water) is a necessity due to the extreme temperature there. With that in mind, having awater system will divert the water in a large holding tank and then feeder tubes would distribute water out into the garden. Mike tells her with rich soil her garden could be very successful.

    Featured Interview: Charlie Mazza

    Mike speaks with Charlie Mazza, an experienced and knowledgeable guide for Morris Arboretum. The Arboretum has Small Trees for Small Spaces tours going on in September and October. (http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/arboretum/events_special.shtml) Charlie talks with Mike about why small trees are perhaps better for our landscape than huge trees. Tree planting takes planning and research and is not a decision that should be made hastily. He feels people look past what the outcome of the width and height will actually be not to mention; some of usdon’t have suitable room for a huge tree and encourages us to look briefly into what small trees can do for the community like saving space, and creating agreat look.

    Trees and Nuts

    Jeff in Harmony, New Jersey wants to know what classification his tree falls under; whether it’s producing walnuts or butter nuts and if so, are they edible and useful? Mike gives him a definite answer describing them to be butter nuts and having similar properties to black walnuts are extremely hard to open. He lets him know he’d probably have to buy a vice grip to get them open, so it might not be worth it to explore this possibility.

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