Fall may be the end of the growth cycle for most of the plants in the garden but it is just the beginning for garlic. That is one of the reasons why I have planted it in the past and again this fall. There is the reward of plunging one's hands into the still warm earth to plant the individual cloves. Early spring brings its' own delights as the green scapes emerge from the ground when all else is still in winter slumber. This weekend was a gardener's dream. It was clear and in the 60's . Perfect for many garden tasks and most certainly planting. Planting garlic is easy but preparing the bed after a good month or two of neglect will raise the sweat on one's brow and provide a weekend workout on par with that of the best trainer.
Garlic likes a rich, loose, well drained soil which necessitates a good cleanup of debris, a new layer of compost and then the planting of the individual cloves. I sent away to Filaree Farm
for a blend of garlic types. I planted four different types and even took the time to label
them which is something I have neglected to do in the past.
The three bulbs on the planting board planted about a twenty foot row. I highly recommend a planting board which makes the job of spacing easy since there is a notch every six inches. It also comes in handy for marking a row with the V shaped side. I digress so back to the garlic. Romanian Red is a Porcelain
variety of garlic. I also received Chesnok Red, a Purple stripe
variety, Killarney Red, a Rocambole variety
and Silver White, a Silverskin
variety. They each have a wonderfully written description reminiscent of the J. Peterman
catalog which makes choosing one type difficult. I went for the variety pack. I hope to have a review of each next summer and the goal will be to save some bulbs for planting next fall. The final step was to add some mulch to the bed.
I used straw but this straw did seem to have some seed heads and that may be a problem next spring. Only time will tell. It was also the day to pull the last of the leeks, another member of the Allium family. One member at the end of its' growth cycle and the other just beginning.
I think there will be a leek and potato soup on the table sometime this week. Bon appetite!