Garlic and compost

IMG_4769Yesterday we planted garlic. I bought the seed garlic at the farmers market; I planted Chesnok Red, Music, and German Extra Hardy. I first amended the beds with some beautiful compost, a bit of Garden Tone fertilizer, and gypsum (recommended for lightening clay soils). Breaking up thIMG_4768e cloves, I selected the largest and spaced them 6 inches apart, using my dibble to make the planting holes. Once in, I covered the cloves, then added 6 or so inches of mowed leaves as mulch.  In the spring, I will top dress with additional high nitrogen fertilizer and follow that up with some foliar feeding of fish emulsion.  From what I understand, garlic needs nitrogen to produce big cloves, and I wants me some big cloves of tasty garlic!

IMG_4773While I planted the garlic, Dan mowed leaves and constructed the new compost bin. Remember Mt. Plantmore? It’s on the way to compost city now, layered with chopped leaves in one of the the lovely new bins we are making.


the pile formerly known as Mt. Plantmore

That’s all we managed for the weekend, well that and making apple butter and apple pie and apple syrup and a visit from an old friend and a short hike where I managed to trip on a root and wrench my back out of whack. Sigh.

Still the garden is in good shape for this time of year, and we have more time to harvest the Brussels sprouts, pull the remaining plants and till. A little more time.


10 Responses to “Garlic and compost”

  1. Farmgirl_dk Says:

    Ooooh, so exciting! I had a wonderful garlic harvest this year. I planted, like, 8 different varieties and, after seeing how they grew and tasting them, I’ll be growing the following this year: Music (hands-down the winner in size and taste this year), Oregon Blue (appropriate right?) Purple Glazer (a close runner up to Music) and Chinese Pink (because of its early harvestability). I am loving the garlic-growing! Good luck with yours!!

    • Ali Says:

      I am glad to hear the Music was successful. There are so many choices! I opted for seed garlic from the farmer’s market thinking if they grew it nearby, I’m more likely to be successful. If I am successful, I may have to branch out next year, Purple Glazer sounds so pretty and fits well with my love of purple vegetables!

  2. mangochild Says:

    I hope all goes well, garlic is also a fav of mine. I wasn’t sure when to sow it, but I guess now is the time! Thanks for sharing how you prepared the bed. I would have completely botched it just sticking them in the soil. That’s what I did in the spring for the green garlic, and it was okay, but nothing that could be stored and nothing too big at all. I’m sure this method is infinitely better.

    • Ali Says:

      Mango, as you are considerably south of me you have a little more time. And I would not judge your garlic skills based on this year, the weather may have played a part here!

      Still, I was surprised to read in several sources that really, it is all about nitrogen for garlic, that the potassium and phosphorus did not impact size much. Nonetheless, I’m counting on my compost to help the garlic get a balanced diet!

  3. Daphne Gould Says:

    I have to get my garlic in too. I’m hoping it happens tomorrow.

    • Ali Says:

      Hope you got your garlic in, Daphne. Up here the weather does not sound too promising…. I see snowflakes on the NOAA website :-(

  4. Robin Says:

    I’m planting garlic for the first time this year, hopefully Friday. Good luck!

    • Ali Says:

      I hope all goes well with the garlic. It sounds like your weather will be better than ours Friday.

  5. wf Says:

    Thanks!! That is exactly what I needed. I wish I didnt brun all those Maple leaves now : (
    N2 you say…I have plenty of that in form of sheep and chicken #2.

    Love your compost pile: ). Wish you many many more snow-less day.

    • Ali Says:

      WF, I never burn maple leaves. If you can mow them and bag them, let them site in a pile for a year, then add them to the garden — good stuff! Or, since you have lots of sheep and chicken manure, mix the manure and leaves for a nice hot compost pile. I need a sheep….

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