Finally getting around the my first blog in my new home. The move went as smoothly as a move can go. Still stressful and my little guys is definitely feeling out of sorts over this past week. So unpacking took the highest priority, hoping to make the new home feel more like home for my son (and for my husband and I). Once that was mostly done (still some odds and sods to do, but they can wait), I smudged the house (very high priority for me) and then it was onto planting garlic.
I can’t believe how much space we have! Our new garden plot will be 40 x 30 feet!! That’s simply amazing, especially compared to the teeny tiny yard we had in our old home. Most of the garden planning and dreaming will be done over the winter, but we did get our garden boxes from the old place put back together and one was prepped and the garlic was planted. Here is what we did:
Garlic requires a sunny space, so thanks to our landlord’s knowledge (who owns the home) we picked a spot that gets lots of sun during the day. We have decided to use a deep mulching/lasagna gardening technique for the entire garden. Homestead Honey has a great post on lasagna gardening and it was this post that inspired me to try this method. If you feel inspired to learn about lasagna gardening check this post out too.
Originally we wanted to place a layer of cardboard down first to serve as ground cover (which is what I would recommend), but we ran out of boxes when we laid them all down over the future garden space (a post for another day). Instead we utilized some landscaping fabric we had leftover. That was the first layer.
The second layer was raked up leaves from our property and if you ever visit our little homestead you will see we have A LOT of trees. Especially in the front yard. This layer of leaves serves as the brown layer.
Our third layer was fresh grass clippings from our lawn and this serves as the green layer in our lasagna.
Since we wanted to plant the next day we immediately went to soil on top of the leaves and grass clippings. You can continue to layer (which we will do for the rest of the garden) having your final layer being compost/soil/manure.
The next day we planted garlic. Each bulb of garlic has anywhere from 5-7 cloves. It is the cloves you want to plant. A single clove will produce an entire bulb. So when you are planning how much garlic you want to plant here are some things to consider:
- have enough so you can save bulbs to plant for the following year
- how much garlic do you consume in 9+ months (ex. 3 cloves per week)
- having extra garlic to preserve (dehydrate for garlic powder, use in canning and freeze if you choose)
This year we planted 76 cloves. Probably WAY too much but it is our first time planting so I’d rather have too much and share the bounty than not enough.
As I mentioned above garlic should be planted in full sun but it will tolerate partial shade. It should be planted in the fall before the first frost. Ideally 6 weeks before but as long as the ground is workable I’ve heard you can plant garlic up until the frost. The cloves needs to be planted 6 inches apart and approximately 4 inches deep.
First we prepped our bed. We used the handle end of a spade to create little holes to place our cloves in. It worked perfectly!
Then we planted the cloves, the flat side down (as this is where the root will grow from).
Cover your holes and water your bed.
We placed a layer of straw over the bed to help protect the plants over the winter. It will also serve as a nice mulch for the spring and keep the weeds to a minimum. Just to note I did a second round of watering after we laid the straw down. Mostly to give it some extra weight because it was windy out.
There you have it folks. How to plant garlic!