I am very excited. At long last – my garlic is finally going into the soil today and believe me I have lots of it. Woohoo.
OK so without further ado, let’s get gardening. Andrew and I hauled out that splendid raised bed 6 today, which meant ripping out all those wonderful self seeded plants and more, tough job! But that’s gardening for you. The garden had a ‘mini’ broad fork to loosen the soil (I seldom do this now as I don’t like disturbing the microorganisms abodes). Still in saying this, the broad fork’s action will help to aerate the soil that is slightly compacted, assist with drainage and make the soil a little more friable. The soil in this bed is rich in organic matter which includes composted horse manure, seaweed, cold compost, food scraps and plant trimmings … oh and those wonderful coffee grounds (if you don’t know about these now and their many benefits, for heavens sake Google them .. they are superb!) This bed is literally crawling with worms, I kid you not!
|This messy garden is self seeded and time for it to be removed!|
So into this terrific organic soil went:
Kakanui Organic (heirloom)
Bought garlic no idea what
Home grown organic large clove
Takahue Red organic NZ heirloom
Home grown organic cloves small
This sounds bizarre …’home grown large and small cloves’? Quite simply I have no idea what the varieties of these are anymore. I have been daft, silly whatever believing that when I poked things in the ground, that I would studiously remember what they are! Guess what? I haven’t and you won’t! You need to always use some sort of labeling system when planting this is imperative for something like garlic! Unless of course, you intend to only plant one variety (me never!)
Regardless of my crop’s ‘poor signage’ there is another issue here which I believe is open to conjecture. I have heard people say that you should always introduce a different variety of garlic into your plantings rather than use your own seed. I still scratch my head at this and wonder why? Sure introducing new varieties ‘broadens’ the gene pool and that is good, but I believe that like any plant that you grow in your garden it will become acclimatised to your environment (let’s say … feel at home). It will adapt to your soil, on site issues, pests etc., the list is endless!
The large cloves I planted were @ 25cm apart while the smaller ones were planted at about 8cm apart. They got poked into the soil at a depth of about 2cm. This time I covered the top of the clove rather than leave it ‘half in half out’ which I normally do.
I scattered about a bag full of wood ash (not as alkaline as lime, but good none the less), with liberal hand fulls of rok solid. Next I watered in my gorgeous cloves and then I carefully placed over bird netting. Keep those black birds at bay and hopefully that rat bag chook Gladys!
Right that was bed 6 we also hauled out now there is only bed 5 to go!
The soil in here has less organic material and because of this is much drier (retains much less moisture) certainly less of those gorgeous slimy pink things .. worms.
So into this bed went lots of composted horse pooh from the hot box (tell you about this later), bokasi bin contents, food scraps, coffee grounds, woodshavings and chook pooh. Again the broad fork was needed in this bed.
Then in went approx 63 cloves … varieties as listed above.
More wood ash and rok solid and lots and lots of water. So what if it is winter it doesn’t matter, this bed was dryish. No netting either – ever hopeful that the chooks and birds won’t spy this bed! Who am I kidding?
In a couple of weeks and then monthly thereafter until about October I will chuck about my homemade seaweed fertiliser. Garlic doesn’t need copious amounts of nitrogen … we actually want that bulb to form. I personally love fish and seaweed fertiliser .. terrific stuff when sprayed onto the leaves helps to keep fungus and rust at bay!
|Our garlic harvest last December … yep bragging!|