2012 october 20


The weather is getting colder and we are expecting a run of below zero C temps in about a week, so we planted our garlic crop over the last few days. We like to get it in about two weeks before surface level freezing to give the planted cloves some time for root development before the ground freezes up 12cm down. This gives the cloves a good headstart come spring and they tend to get very well established early on and grow better.
So we were able to spend 1 hour after work on 2012 Oct 18, 1.5 hours on Oct 19th and about 6 hours on Oct 20th.
The soil depth is still lower than we’d like but another 15 yards of earth will have to wait until the next spring.
So this year we planted on ground that had bags of sheep manure compost added in a few weeks back, cultivated and tilled up a couple of times since we cut down the hot mustard and marigolds we were growing on it over the summer.

The first row was down on the south side, running east/west. Last year we had 4 cloves in a row, this year we move to 6. Spacing is still probably too big but we are making holes 4-6″ (10-15cm) deep with a single dowel marked with a piece of tape for depth. Next year maybe we look at building something better.. like maybe a board with 6 dowels prespaced to step on.

In any event, we put down over 45 types and almost 500 cloves in total.. the exact numbers will follow. This gives us 6-12 cloves per type.

They were raked over and gently tamped down with name stakes between each type. The first row took about 14 types, then we filled up row 2 and 3 and had one more leftover for row 4. The remainder of row 4 was a 5 year long science project, growing out the garlic bulbils into full bulbs. More on that later as well.

The last thing to do is to cover them all up with a layer of fluffy straw, mainly to minimize temperature variations in the daily day/night cycle and to keep direct sunlight off the will be soon frozen ground.
This was completed on 2012 October 23.