For Halloween, C. is going to be a spider and W. is going to be a vampire knight. I thought how funny since he spent the afternoon planting garlic with me. My garlic crop has been a work in progress for years now. The plots have shifted, methods changed, and timing changed as well. I love books and follow many of the book's recommendations once, and if the advice is good, a second time and beyond. For our area, one book said to plant garlic in the spring...WRONG!!!!
I now follow the advice of more northern farmers, maybe it is the elevation of our home (at the bottom of our hill it will rain, while snow blankets us at the top) or maybe it is that we are at the edge of the zone, but I find methods recommended for are area are inaccurate for us.
So here is our afternoon of garlic
This is what remains of our first good harvest of garlic. We love it so. It goes in most anything savory that I cook.
I have been saving the ones that have sprouted since they were harvested. Everything has a purpose.
Then the kiddos and I put a little compost on the garden. Garlic grows best when grown in slightly enriched poor soil. Too much good soil makes the garlic have too much top and not much bulb. We used our hoe to make trenches and then planted the cloves, sprout side up.
We then covered the little cloves and I covered the bed in lots of straw, when the leaves fall, I will put some of those on top as well.
Come June, we will have fresh garlic to cure and a nice place to plant the herbs that I bring in for the winter.
The cost is negligible...3 yrs ago I bought a head of garlic at the farmer's market for 50 cents. From that I planted my first garlic garden in the spring. As unsuccessful as it was, it bore enough garlic to save and plant the next year. That crop was successful and now I am planting more and more each year to supply us with garlic. I have yet to get through a full year without using all but the seed garlic.
This year I don't have enough seed or space to plant for the full year, but this is my hope for next fall.
I'll let you see June, when I harvest my 36 bulbs of garlic!