Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Hope In A Hole
With midday temperatures hanging in the mid 40's it was time to plant garlic. Yesterday's rain left the ground too wet to work, but snow was mentioned in the weather forecast. Conditions will likely not be right for the job so the time is now. Galvanized wire fence serves double duty. Upright tied to the posts it keeps the large critters out. Flat on the ground, it guides the dibble in parallel rows with uniform spacing. That seems fussy, but a quality job is quickly done. Each paper bag in the tray contains seed cloves for the eighteen remaining different varieties. Planting follows the written map.
This year was hard on many crops including garlic. We harvested slightly more than half of the garlic planted. Mold during dry down took even more. Despite careful inspection while separating the cloves for planting, I am confident that I planted some moldy seed. Now comes the hope. A long uniform Winter with lasting snow cover would give us a solid start. Spring with moderate temperatures would move the plants nicely. This year Spring was hot and dry. Last frost in late May would be favorable. 2009's June frost should be forgotten. Then there is the rain.
The pictured variety is White Bishop. You will not find it listed in any catalog. A local grower supplied the original seed. Over the years I have separated out seed by specific characteristics. White Bishop now grows true to type, and it is our most reliable variety. Here is hoping that July 2010 finds it growing strongly.