dounle line of irrigation tape per row

This years 2020 garlic harvest was better than average. We harvested across a few weeks, as it came ready, and finished in early August. After drying in the leanto for 4 weeks, we cut off the tops, cut off the roots, cleaned up the bulb and then weighed and measured its size using a garlic sizing template.

We are now (still) in the process of transcribing that data to get averages across the 90 odd types that we grew this past season.
I am of the opinion that the drip tape irrigation system contributed to the better than average harvest. We typically watered for 2 hours every day or every other day during the hot dry season in June and July. Then we stopped irrigation closer to harvest, letting the garlic start to dry.

Garlic was in Vegbed4 last season and will be going into Vegbed5 this season, as we always rotate the crops from bed to bed each year. The tomatos are still there at this time but we hope to clear the bed this weekend.
There will be a lot of tomatos and seeds in that bed when we are done so we start to prep the bed for a mid to late October planting of garlic cloves.

Saturday we hope to clear the bed of tomatos, then till it over to loosen up the soil and give the weed seeds (or in this case tomato seeds) a chance to germinate and grow a bit with the rains that are coming Sunday and Monday. After a couple of weeks (now into early October), we will lay down as many bags of composted sheep and cow manure that we can find (up to 20) and till the bed again, mixing it in while killing off the weeds (and tomatos) that have since grown.

Then a week or three later, just before the day we determine to plant, we will cultivate it (a shallower pass this time) just to get the weeds out.
String lines will be laid out, and this time 2′ between beds not the 1′ of last year. This is to help keep the bed in a straight line. It was a little too tight to walk down the beds.

We plant around 1000 bulbs, which we will have spent 3 or 4 evenings prior, precracking the bulbs to get out the cloves, of the seed garlic that we have selected even earlier. It makes for a nice few hours in the garage drinking wine while opening up the bulbs. They go into individually labelled paper bags.
We also gather up a master list of types, print off laminated labels to staple onto 1″x2″ x1′ stakes that mark each row.

On the day of planting we use a dibbler, a 2×4 with 6 wooden dowels spaced 6″ apart to create 6 planting holes at once, in a straight line. Then the next 6 are put in 8″ away and so on and so on. We get about 24/ 2/3 or 36 rows in each bed. Each bed is 30″ wide plus 24″ for a path gives approx 4.5′ for each bed and path. That goes into a 25′ vegbed5 six times giving us room for a total of 6*36*6=1296 cloves. Once each bed is complete, the string line gets moved over to the next bed.

Bag labels are double checked, cloves go in the hole, are raked over and the namestake pushed in at the path end of the row. Over and over again until we can take no more. This usually takes many hours on a nice morning, then a few more in the afternoon.

Finally, straw is set out, lightly covering the garlic to protect it through the winter, mostly from the freeze/thaw cycle that sometimes occurs in midwinter.

Hopefully the garlic will have a couple of weeks to germinate, establish some roots before the next heavy frost hits and stays.

You can also plant in spring after the ground has thawed. We have done this as well and basically the garlic is 2-3 weeks behind in development over a fall planting.