Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Happy Garlic Time

October means....It's time to plant the garlic. I plant my garlic about 4 inches apart in rows that are spaced about 10 inches apart. I like to hoe various parts of my garden, so 10 inch spacing works well for weeding. However, if you till every row of your garden then obviously 10 inches is not enough spacing for the machine to plow down through.
I have read about the "no till" philosphy of gardening. I would agree that over use of the roto tiller could compromise the quality of the soil. That's not why I prefer using hand gardening tools. My love of gardening is one of a enjoying a peaceful, alive place to escape. The hoe is silent as I take out the weeds and loosen the soil. The smell of gasoline exhaust floating over the tender plants and the noise of the motor seems absurd to me. I would encourage anyone who raises a garden to read about the idea of hand tilling your beds.
Back to the garlic.
Planting your garlic in the fall means you will have a late spring harvest. All summer long you will have fresh garlic to go along with your herbs. I love seeing the hardy green garlic tops poking through the snow in February and March.
Go to your local store and buy a head of garlic. Head/Clove same thing. Anyways, divide the clove as you would when cooking. Determine what spacing works best for your garden. Make sure your garden soil is well loosened. I love planting in the fall because the decaying Autumn leaves are mulched down into the soil prior to planting the garlic. This creates a wonderful loose composted dirt. Using my forefinger, I poke a hole the depth of my finger and put the garlic into the hole, covering it with the mulched leaves and soil. Plant right side up of course. To determine right side up...look at your clove prior to splitting the individual cloves. The end with the root is the bottom. Top side up please.
One head of garlic now becomes many heads of garlic in the spring.
Happy Autumn Gardening!

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