Saturday, October 15, 2011

Garlic Planting Time

The calender  says it is time to plant the garlic here in zone 4, but recent heavy rains have left the soil unworkable.  Its present moisture content would be better suited to brick making than clove planting.  Path development seemed a better choice today.  Keeping field grass out of the planting beds is the purpose of the path.  Last fall landscape fabric was placed around the outside of the garden and covered with grass clippings.  That worked reasonably well but the mower would dislodge the clippings.

The planting bed is the darker L shaped area.  It too was covered with grass clippings for more than a year.  Dead sod and stones have been pulled away using a mattock and a stone fork.  Several loads of compost have been turned in resulting in the darker soil.  Pasture grass has grown here for decades and now the soil is ready for a planted crop.

Dead sod and some topsoil have been removed from the path to lower the level of the fabric.  Bark mulch from a nearby hardwood lumber operation will form the path surface.  The bark mulch will rot down creating excellent compost.  We can count on yearly replenishment of  the bark mulch in the path.

This garden is far from the house hidden from view by the high meadow.  When I reported for work here this morning, the green Butternut squash left at garden's edge was gone.  Canine footprints covered one corner of my carefully prepared planting bed.  The squash was found some distance away.  Deep teeth marks pointed to its use as a chew toy by a fairly large animal.

Nearby neighbors do have two dogs.  One of them is large and they have been know to roam.  The fresh scat points more toward coyote.  Examination of the photo shows that both corn and apples were on the menu.  I have read that as life forms disappear from this planet as a result of our destruction of our home,   coyotes may be the last mammal alive.  Among their wily ways is their ability to eat almost anything.  Since my new garlic bed is part of their playground, a fence will be needed to keep them away from my plants.

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