Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Garlic Bed

It is unclear  if Ed could garden at all without his 2 X 4 inch welded wire fence.  Here two pieces are placed at a right angle to each other forming a 2inch by 2 inch grid.  Rows of evenly spaced parallel planting holes are rather quickly made.  The 5 ft. by 13 ft. beds are also defined.

Garlic may grow better in evenly spaced parallel rows or the gardener here may just be excessively fussy.  The cloves are spaced six inches apart in both directions.  This close spacing makes weeding difficult.  I have developed a concern that dirt that falls on a garlic plant lodges where the leaf grows from the stem.  Nasty soil micro organisms then have a route to the interior of the plant causing mold and rot.  Not weeding solves this problem so the close spacing is a plus.

The fence that marked the bed now serves a more traditional role.  The third section of this planting area will be developed in the spring.  Grass clippings were used to kill the pasture grass but some still grew. Rotted grass clippings in contact with the somewhat clear topsoil underneath make a great start for a new planting area.  The top slimy mess of grass clippings waits in heaps while we look for a way to use it.

Garlic has a special appeal because it is fall planted.  While the bulk of our plants are becoming dormant or just plain dying, garlic is beginning its growth cycle.  The actual act of planting a food crop now is uplifting.  All of the hopes and dreams of next year's garden came alive as each clove of garlic went into the ground.  Not bad for a dreary fall day.


cosmosandcleome said...

I am planting garlic this fall for the first time ever. Last week when we had some nice afternoons, I was able to prepare the bed, but then it started raining, and I haven't been able to get out there to actually plant the garlic yet! Can you tell me, will there be a very garlicky odor in the area around the bed? I am placing it next to our side porch, and it recently occurred to me that we may not want to sit there and smell garlic all summer long!

Becky said...

Garlic plants really have no odor while they are growing that I have noticed. It's only after they are harvested and curing that they smell like an Italian delicatessen.