Monday, October 11, 2010

Garlic Planting Day

Today we planted the annual crop of garlic at Winterberry Farm. It might be a tad early given the average temperature in October so far. However, there was a light frost Saturday night and nighttime temperatures are falling into the 40s. It is the daytime temperatures into the high 60s that seem unusually warm.

We went ahead with the planting: nearly 500 cloves that supply my sister, my mother, and me for a year, with enough left for next's years planting, and then some to give away as gifts.

After breakfast this morning, my Mom, Dad, sister, and I broke apart 100 garlic bulbs -- the biggest bulbs saved from this year's July harvest. Thanks to my Mom for pulling the entire garlic harvest in July.

One garlic bulb breaks into 4 to 5 cloves for planting

Nearly 500 garlic cloves ready for planting

Yesterday my Dad prepared the garden spot: he disked the field and dumped several loads of composted rabbit manure (the manure is from a nearby farm). My sister and I raked it in, then Dad smoothed the planting area with a cultipacker, a piece of equipment pulled behind the tractor.

The planting site after Dad smoothed it with the cultipacker

We planted five rows of garlic, in rows nine inches apart. Within each row we planted the garlic six inches apart in a 4-inch deep trench, covering the cloves with about 2 inches of soil. The final layer was a 4-inch layer of clean straw as mulch.

A row of garlic ready for covering with 2 inches of soil

The garlic bed planted and covered in straw

The garlic roots will start to grow and take hold of the ground around, while the green shoots should not break the surface until spring.

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