Friday, 26 October 2012

Getting the garlic in

In probably a first for me, I've got my autumn sowing garlic in before the end of October. I believe the benefits of sharing the plot with others is already paying off. Recently joined by friend Manishta, and new to lotties Ilana & Will, we had a bit of a working party a couple of weekends ago. Gosh we got a lot done! This included clearing one of the beds of weeds etc so it would be ready for planting the garlic.

So when I went down to the plot today, I didn't have to do any preparation, I was able to immediately start planting!
Spacing the garlic out first

I always space the garlic out first before planting. This allows me to see what fits in and adjust the space if needed. Of course garlic needs a certain amount of spacing. I must admit I don't tend to follow the spacing rules per se. I have so many varieties that are of different sizes, I seem to be able to get away with planting a bit closer.

I also use the zig-zag pattern (left) to sow, as this enables you to fit in a bit more into the space than you might otherwise.

Once spaced out, I then put them in the ground, not too deep, just deep enough to have about an inch of soil on top of them once covered.

Garlic clove in the hole, root end down.
Then cover with 3-4 inches of soil (of 1-2 if on heavy soil)

By the time you finish, all you have is a neat bed with some labels one size and sticks in the middle, viz:

Garlic planted

The sticks mark out the boundaries of the different varieties. I could use string to demarcate them more strongly, but this has always worked in the past so I don't tend to bother. But might be useful if you are new to growing garlic and making sure you know where each variety is.

Now they are all bedded in and apart from weeding, and watering next year in spring/summer, that's it for the garlic until I dig up the wonderful bulbs next July/August.

Garlic is such an easy crop to grow. You can plant autumn sowing garlic throughout autumn. I'll confess that some years I've been quite late, into late December, and still got a great crop. So if you haven't tried growing garlic, I highly recommend it. You can even grow it amongst your flower beds or in pots (about 3 cloves to a 10 litre pot). For not much effort you generally get great results.