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Hurry Up and Plant Some Garlic!

A beautiful sunrise turned into another great fall day and a good opportunity to follow-through on a last minute garden scheme—to plant some garlic. We grew garlic some years back, but we didn’t continue to do. Jim recently read about Carolyn Herriot’s book Zero Mile Diet, which puts an emphasis on organic gardening methods, edible landscaping and growing more food at home, and we’ve talked about how we can increase our production. We use a lot of garlic in our cooking so we decided to give growing garlic another go. My only concern was that we had left planting too late.

A little research convinced me that planting garlic today, November 2, is certainly worth a try. I consulted the website of Diane Dyer. She and her husband are local garlic gurus who operate the Dyer Family Organic Farm, and I read that they are almost finished planting their garlic — to the tune of 14,000 cloves. They are planting varieties with names like Romanian red, Creole red, Purple Italian and Silver rose, which sound both beautiful and delicious and like something I will want to try next summer when they bring their harvest to the farmers’ markets.

With a little planning, I could even be planting some of those more exotic varieties myself. Since I waited until the local supplies of garlic sets have run dry and far too late to order, however, I instead planted separated cloves of some more common variety of organic soft neck garlic. Next year will be different, as the gardener’s mantra goes.

One problem we had in our previous garden bed was that the garlic got ‘lost’ among similar looking plants. This year, we decided to put the garlic all by itself in one of our raised beds to keep a better eye on it.

Planting garlic is a pretty straight forward operation. I dug a row about 6 inches deep in the soil, and then I planted a line of garlic cloves about 4 inches apart. Points up, root side down. I covered the rows with dirt.

One issue this time of year is the heavy presence of squirrels in our neighborhood. They like to dig and search around the yard and garden, especially on newly turned soil. Jim’s suggestion is a little organic blood meal sprinkled around the area. He hopes that perhaps it sends a chill of fear down the spines of the squirrels and makes them think ‘something bad happened here!’ as they scamper away. Regardless it adds nutrition to the soil and gives the gardener the illusion of a preventative action.

The weather is cooperating so if you want to try growing a little more of your own food, it’s not too late to plant garlic. Frosty days are coming soon so hurry up– who knows how long the possibility will last.

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  1. Harvesting the Garlic | Our Twenty Minute Kitchen Garden linked to this post on August 13, 2011

    […] planted our garlic in the mild spell of last November. As noted then, we’d missed the opportunity of using […]