And it is DONE again! The SCGO Garlic Planting of 2023. It went quicker and easier than past years, thanks to a lot of prep work up front. cracking the bulbs ahead of time, each in its own labelled paper bags with name and number of cloves. All of the signage prepped, counted and sorted.
We planted on Monday and Tuesday 2023 October 23 and 24. Last year it was Saturday morning Oct 22 and on Sunday afternoon Oct 23.
Last year we used the 8 hole Dibbler Mark II, 8 spikes in the dibbler, each 1 3/8″ diameter and 7″ long with 5″ spacing between spikes. This caused Kevin some injury that took months to heal, so we chopped off the two end spikes and went back to 6 hole rows.

We planted in VegBed4’s eastern end going from north to south and moving the subbeds west. The signage is laminated laser printed names staples to 1×2″x1′ stakes. This naming system has shown to stand up to time the best of all others. The print is facing north, to avoid sunlight. We also printed off a new set of labels in a bigger bolder font, for ease of reading whilst standing up.

The first sub-bed had 38 rows, then 40, 43, 39, 34, 19 and 9, totalling 179 rows * 6 cloves per row = 1074 cloves!
It took just over an hour for each sub-bed and in total about 5-6 hours planting over the two days.

One last task is to cover them with straw to protect them from direct sunlight and the freeze/thaw cycles that happen over winter. Once frozen they should stay frozen until spring.

The number of varieties planted this year: To Be Counted yet.
We cut down on the number of types this year, as many of the smaller yields just did not make the cut.

The planting method:

1) we planted two stakes at the beginning and end of the subbed, a measured distance away from the fence to allow for a walking path. A string was tied to give a line to work on.

2) the subbed was raked over to get as flat of a surface as possible.

3) The first dibber went in up against the beginning stake. Each subsequent dibble lined up with the string and used the two extension bars to mark 5″ to 6″ from the last set of holes.

4) Name stakes went in on the opposite side of the string. Each row got its own namestake. As this was going on, Kim would get the next bag, check the name against the stake and start planting about 2-4″ down, or as deep as we could get.

5) Once the subbed was done, the string came off and two more beginning and end stakes were measured and driven in for the next subbed.
Then the straw went on top of the garlic, protecting it against extremes of light and temperature and soil compaction.