Somebody turned the furnace on over the weekend - temperatures soared into the 90's F for our first foreshadowing of summer, but it was a dry heat. Our property has seen only 0.05 inches of measurable rain in May. Corn and pumpkins have now sprouted.
Garlic cloves planted last October are usually ready to harvest by end of May, but since many crops are two weeks ahead of schedule this year, we thought we'd check them now. We're glad we did. If left too long, garlic heads can start splitting. They are ready to harvest when cloves are filled out and covered with several layers of skin. We dug all the crop, three dozen heads, and set it in the sun to cure. Dry air and warm temperatures finished the process in three days. Stems were braided together to make a garlic rope, which we hung in an airy spot outdoors until its pungent fragrance dissipates. Before braiding, we reserved the three largest heads to use as "seed" garlic next October since the size of the clove you plant affects the size you'll harvest. Garlic is widely known for heart health and many other benefits: home grown is reportedly the healthiest because it contains more sulfur compounds.
We're harvesting some nice heads of lettuce now, and the spinach came back - a welcome addition to salads, still not bitter. Carrot thinnings are six inches long and so sweet our seven-year-old had a hard time deciding between them and dessert, no joke! Soaker hoses laid down last month are a life saver for watering.