Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time to Plant: Garlic

As the 2009 garden is coming to an end, our thoughts have already started to turn to 2010. One thing that I've decided to plant for next year is garlic. Garlic needs to be planted in the fall and is harvested the following fall, so requires a lot of forethought and planning and patience, which is so atypical of me on all 3 counts. I am not very good at underground type veggies that I can't see. I usually end up pulling them too early so we'll see if I can restrain myself this year. Because of this I usually plant way more than I need so I will have a prayer of getting some through to harvest.

I ordered the small Southern Growers Special from Grey Duck Garlic which includes 2 varieties of organic garlic that do well in southern climates, Thermadrome and Georgian Crystal. The Thermadrome is smaller and will have 12-20 cloves per bulb. The Georgian Crystal is much larger and will have 4-6 cloves per bulb.

The directions that came with our garlic said that it should be planted in loose soil with plenty of compost. So I decided to use my raised beds for this since the soil stays very loose because no one will be walking on it.

One thing we have a lot of is rich compost thanks to our resident 4 legged friends also known as the "hay burners".

The TripleCreek Farm gardening team got to work (me, JW and my dad).

We had to clear out the last of the tomatoes and peppers and some rogue weeds that had infiltrated.

After we added the compost, I restrung my square feet markers. I created these beds using the Square Foot Gardening method, which keeps everything organized and compact. To each square I added 1 T of Blood Meal (nitrogen rich fertilizer), about 1/2 cup of organic fertilizer, and about 1/2 cup of horticulture coarse vermiculite (helps keep moisture in the soil). I didn't really measure, I just eyeballed it.

JW volunteered to mix it all in with his favorite garden tool, the garden weasel.

The instructions said to plant the garlic 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart. This means we could plant 4 per square foot.

We even found some friends along the way.

Or I should say JW did, me not so much.

I planted 12 square feet of garlic which should yield 48 bulbs of garlic (if I can restrain myself as noted above). This should be plenty of garlic for us for next year and vampires should not be an issue around our farm.

I have almost a full bag of the Georgian Crystal and about 1/2 a bag of the Thermadrone left. If anyone would like some, just give me a holler or an email or a comment to this blog and I'll give you some (first come first served while supplies last).

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