Planting Garlic

By all the recent posts from my favorite bloggers, i’d say it’s time to plant some garlic! Honestly, it’s a bit late here in the Willamette valley. It’s best to work the soil before it’s been dampened, and great to get things planted in time to be rained in. The rains have begun, but you really are safe planting garlic in this climate between mid September and very early November – with mid-October being your goal. Two years ago, I planted garlic during a waning moon phase on the first of October, in Austin TX. This year i STILL have no garden, but i did get to plant some garlic with a group of teenagers in their garden in Corvallis OR last year. I had no idea if the moon was waxing or waning, but i think we did a pretty fine job of it. Since i have no garden this time around, i’ll re-post last year’s documentation:

We first prepared the beds by tilling them well, then working in some fish meal and raking the beds smooth. I purchased about 6 varieties of garlic from local vendors at the Corvallis Farmer’s Market including Chinese Pink, Music, Medechi, and California Late White: a mix of softnecks and hardnecks that should be good for their Spring farmer’s market sales next year. The planting went well (while i was there at least). Here’s how we did it.

Break the bulbs and lay out the cloves 6-8 inches apart. I like to lay out the cloves first, THEN plant – helps to prevent the ole’ did i plant one here yet or not? quandary. Label the bed well! (And remember to label your harvested garlic well in the Spring!)

Once we laid them out, we used skinny trowels to poke down about 2 inches, sprinkle in a mixture of bone and blood meal, drop the cloves in sideways or sprout-side-up then cover loosely with dirt.

Once all the bulbs were planted and covered we put down a nice layer of compost followed by a thick layer of mulch (hay, mint compost, use whatever you’ve got but NOT walnut leaves) Voila! Thanks to Kayla for being such a great hand model – though i’m still not sure why y’all insist on wearing those surgical gloves for gardening. I prefer dirty fingernails, myself 😉

Do you enjoy teaching others how to plant things?


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6 Responses to Planting Garlic

  1. Why not Walnut leaves? I’ve got a ton of those around :) Should I keep them out of my compost, too?
    Melissa recently posted…Strawberries Everywhere!

    • Hey Melissa: Walnut leaves are extremely acidic. If you notice under your walnut trees: not much grows under there! I would def keep them out of your compost and never use as a mulch. Walnut leaves are essentially “poisonous” to other plants.

      • It’s acid and a compound called juglone. “Many plants such as tomato, potato, blackberry, blueberry, azalea, mountain laurel, rhododendron, red pine and apple may be injured or killed within one to two months of growth within the root zone of these trees. The toxic zone from a mature tree occurs on average in a 50 to 60 foot radius from the trunk, but can be up to 80 feet. The area affected extends outward each year as a tree enlarges. Young trees two to eight feet high can have a root diameter twice the height of the top of the tree, with susceptible plants dead within the root zone and dying at the margins.” –
        Foy Update recently posted…Vegetable Garden Design Inspiration – Le Potager

  2. Yay garlic! I just planted some over the weekend, too.
    Christine @ these light footsteps recently posted…The Fall Garden and Her Vegetable Soup

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