Saturday, November 1, 2014

Garlic Planted - Finally!!

~ garlic bed turned ~
 There was a break in the weather today & as soon as I got home, I knew it was finally the moment for me to plant my garlic! Generally, I've had it planted around the Thanksgiving weekend, but our October weather this year has been wet... very wet... & I didn't relish the idea of digging up an entire bed & turning it into a mud puddle.

So, with the waning hours of the afternoon, I grabbed my pitchfork & dug up the bed. This year I grew potatoes in here, so I knew there would be some soil amending required as garlic enjoys rich soil. Thankfully I remembered to buy bone meal & my composter is full of rich home made compost just waiting to be applied!
~ garlic I grew last year! ~
 I had a very successful harvest this past summer & have more garlic for the winter than I'm sure I know what to do with!

Pick the largest cloves & don't bother to peel them.

An interesting twist on garlic is that it is capable of evolving it's flavour based on the growing conditions. I started with Salt Spring Island garlic (healthy & solid history of growing very well) & so this year, I'm planting my own version of this variety - I'm sure that what I harvested this summer is slightly different than the original. Each year you plant your own variety of garlic that you've grown in your own soil, with your own amendments & seasonal changes, you'll find slight changes in flavour. If you really like the flavour of the original variety - than you should make sure to go & find a reliable source & continue planting someone else's variety. I'm looking forward to developing my own special brand of  'Bamfield garlic' & I think it might take a couple more growing seasons before we are able to notice a difference... if you are that picky about your garlic of course...
~ plant it deep ~

I made sure to dig deep down - you don't want your garlic freezing during the winter & I have the feeling that this winter, we will have a very cold one!! I sprinkled in a heavy amount of bone meal & planted the bulbs a little bit closer together than I did last year - maybe only 2 or 3 inches apart - but staggered.
~ top dress with compost ~
I applied a couple bucket fulls of compost to the top of the bed & over the next couple weeks I will bring a bucket down with me to harvest kelp that I find drifting in the harbour when commuting to & fro to work. All the beds could do with a top dressing of kelp this year!

Percy supervised the entire procedure & even jumped up in the bed to investigate the freshly turned soil for insects...

~ cover to protect soil ~
At the end of the day I threw a plastic cover over top as I knew it was going to rain quite heavily over the next week & I really didn't want all that fresh compost to be washed down & away too soon. With the cold weather predicted, I just might leave the plastic lying down until late in January & then once the early spring sun returned, I'll prop it up on the garden hoops...

I'll also throw in a couple buckets of duck house litter to add to the soil.

All this talk about home grown garlic has me craving roasted garlic for dinner tonight!!

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