Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Planting 240 in the "Back Forty"!

The farmers next door to Applejack Lane were plowing the fields in mass this morning because the weatherman called for a lot of rain the next few days.  That meant we needed to get on the stick and do our own farming on our "back forty".  So, we got to it and completed a new garlic bed just in time before  frost comes to the Valley.  This has been somewhat of an undertaking.  Cathy has wanted a garlic bed since she met a garlic grower at the local Farmers' Market this summer.   After some research and reading Paula's blog at Sweet Pea, we made a plan.  First, Cathy brought home a load of leaf mulch that was pure black gold to put over our soil on the existing garden.  We added some chopped leaves, and hubby tilled that under.  After tilling, more turning, and raking,  we were ready to plant this morning.
This summer, Cathy picked up eight different garlic varieties from the Farmers' Market for planting. All garlic is not equal.  Garlic varies in taste, color, and size.
 Red Tosh-one of Cathy's favorites
 Oregon Blue
 Kettle River
 Musik-very large cloves-can't wait for this one!
Next we peeled and separated each bulb into individual cloves and picked the largest 30 of that variety to plant.  The outer cloves were usually the best. Yes, with eight varieties and 30 plants each, we are going to have a lot of garlic if each one matures properly.
 I labeled a a baggy to keep each variety separate.  Some varieties had more cloves than others, and the cloves in varied in size.
 I had to improvise garden labels by using plastic spoons for the time being.
I made a cardboard template to dig the holes.  I wanted relatively even rows that had plants every 5 inches apart.
Ten the digging and planting began.  A clove has a definite top and bottom so you want to make sure you put the right side down. 

I lightly raked the top soil to cover the holes. The next time hubby mows, we will put a layer of leaf mulch on the top.  Voila!  We are done!  Now, we wait through the winter until June to see if the majority of our 240 garlic plants grow!
Does anyone know if squirrels like garlic?


Leann said...

Wow that's some great organization. Love how it's all coming together. And yumm...I love roasted garlic - heaven!


Paula said...

I am wowed by the varities that you are planting. I hope you'll give us a report of your favorites. Making a template for digging the holes is such a good idea and so is using plastic spoons as markers.

Thanks for the shout-out in your posts. I've never had a problem with squirrels eating garlic!

Riet said...

That is so interesting. I have been in several countries here in Europe and I never noticed there were different varieties of garlic.A person is never too old to learn. :))) I hope you get a good bunch of the delicious stuff next year.
Have a nice day

Karen said...

I had no idea there were so many kinds of garlic!

KDinOK said...

I also did not know that there were so many varieties of garlic. Such an interesting post.

Johanna said...

Hi Joan,
I don't know wheather squirrels like garlic or not - at least Vampires do not!
I had no clue, that there exist so many varieties. Very interesting, even a Bavarian one. LOL
I would love to join you when you taste all the different garlic bulbs. You can next year make a lot of interesting recipes like Pesto.
I hope you will report about the growing.
best greetings, Johanna

dana said...

I had NO idea there were so many kinds of garlic!!! You certainly will have a lot of garlic....what will you do with all of it? I know it keeps for a pretty long time. I'd be making garlic wreaths and garlic necklaces (don't they keep vampires away? :) to sell at my craft shows! ;-)

LOVE how you made a template to plant the bulbs....and very clever to use spoons for plant markers!

Good luck....I hope you take lots of photos of the growth and harvesting of your crop!!


Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

I just found your blog and wanted to stop and see what Applejack Lane is all about. I was interested in your method of planting garlic. You must be a very organized person because your system seems to be very efficient. I will be back often to see what goes on at your place.------Shannon

Paula said...

Has your garlic come up?

I haven't eaten at the Peaks of Otter Lodge in years but it was excellent the last time I was there. If the Sunday crowd is any indication, it's still very good.