|Here's what's left – one lonely end-of-the-|
string head hanging in the kitchen.
|Looks like about 18 heads. This|
photo was taken July 3, 2011.
There are more than 40 plants forming heads out in the garden now. That should give me plenty to eat, plenty to plant and even some to share.
Garlic is one of the easiest foods to grow. Here in Zone 6b (southern West Virginia), it's planted in the fall. And since the garden is done producing in October (well, mine is, anyway), there's plenty of room to prepare a spot. I mix compost into the bed, "draw" my rows with the end of a hoe, throw the cloves down six to eight inches apart and a couple inches deep and cover with soil. Water well to settle the soil, and then spread a thick cover of straw over the whole bed.
And, of course, once you pull your garlic harvest, you have a great spot to plant a fall crop of snow peas or sugar snaps, and you can till the pea plants back into the bed to add more nutrients over the winter. Or you can plant a cover crop – rye, oats, clover or another "green manure" – that will nourish the soil once it's turned under and allowed to rot. You'll plant your next garlic crop in a new spot that has been amended.
How did I learn all this? Thank you, Farmer Google. Since the falling-out I had last year with my former garden mentors, I've relied on internet searches to answer nearly all of my gardening questions. I have a couple good reference books, but the ease of searching and the wealth of available information meets my needs just fine, thankyouverymuch.
I find a lot of technology-bashing going on (and it starts here at home, as my husband is a Luddite when it comes to computers), but I couldn't be more grateful for the internet and its associated devices. Maybe sometime I'll feel the need to take a technology break, but for now? I don't think so.