Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The garden overflowed with garlic

Well, it's that time of year again: garlic planting. And, like last year, I did it a bit late. I got my garlic in well before 12/21, which is the unofficial cut-off. So, that at least makes me happy.

I moved the location this year to where my fruit trees were. To cut our ties to this land and realizing that there were many cheap fruit locations near us, we decided to sell many of our fruit trees about a month ago. The good news is that opens up several garden beds that are in prime sun real estate. AND, if we should move out before the garlic is ready (not saying we are, but IF), my neighbor Joe can easily extend his garden fence to include these guys. So, I might actually get to see the full-grown garlic, even if we do move.

I had so much fun with garlic last year that I decided to greatly expand my garlic operations. Hey, if it works well AND brings me joy, might as well, right? This is the same reason why we're going to have more potatoes next year too.

So, all told, there are: four, 2x4' boxes:
.... and two, 2x6' boxes:
Yes, I realize that's almost 60 square feet of garlic. I put leaves on the top for winter insulation, FYI.

I decided to grow a lot more because a) I was moving the garlic to an easier-to-maintain location. Previously, the garlic had been in a 6'x6' bed, and it was hard to weed because of the bed depth. This is much easier. b) the new location gets more sun, so I figured better garlic success too. And finally, c) I want to actually be able to give some away this year. All of the 2x4' beds and part of one of the 2x6' beds are all the Italian Late garlic variety. I realize it's a bit of a risk, planting this many of a never-before-grown-by-me garlic, but, if it works out, it's a softneck variety, meaning I'll be able to braid the garlic when I harvest it. Hopefully, that will work, and I'll have nice presents for folks.

I got my garlic this year from the folks at Luckily, I ordered in August when they still had available garlic. They may still have some available, but I do know they sell out of many of their varieties. Go visit! It's not too late to plant!

Small photos, but here is the Italian Late garlic (which I planted a LOT of):
The Chinese Purple garlic:
The Red Janice garlic:
And finally, the Red Rezan garlic:

I hope they all turn out.

But there's more that still needs to (eventually) get done outside. I'm not quite sure what happened to the blueberries, but they look quite distressed. Did I water too much (?) or too little (?) this summer? I know it's fall and they're supposed to look sad, but I worry that they're sad as in close to dead. Hm. Regardless, their beds need to be weeded. B said he'd take care of that.

I also need to prune the raspberries and rebuild their trellis. I made the mistake last year of going with the furring strips for the wood (which is fine, but), and securing it with nails. NOT a good idea. The furring strips crack easily, and the nails did not provide enough security. Result? falling apart trellis. This year's model is going to be a LOT more simplistic. 4 posts at the four corners of the garden beds. Screwed on. Then wire. Voila. That's it folks. I can tear out the trellis now and prune the raspberries, but I don't think I'll start rebuilding until later on in the winter.

I also have the option of putting in some carrots now that will be ready in the spring. that would be nice, wouldn't it? I just have to pick the rest of the carrots out there right now though.... :) Then it's just a matter of planting the newbies and putting some sort of mesh over them so they don't get trampled on by neighborhood cats thinking the garden bed is a gigantic litter box. FUN.

So, that's all for now from the garden.


  1. I love garlic too, but can you believe I've never grown it. I just might have to start. Best of luck on your garden.

  2. Oh Jenna! It is so much fun to grow. Plus, you can eat the garlic skapes and blossoms. It does take a while until you can eat them, but they are SO delicious and very satisfying to grow. Then again, I have something with growing root vegetables. Love garlic, potatoes, and carrots. I know, I'm a bit strange.