Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Garlic Part 2

After promising Garlic Pt. 2 all week, I went and got myself all inspired and decided to lead by example, ie. plant my own and explain the steps I went through.

So if you're ready I suppose I should start from the beginning.

Site selection, same as real estate, Position, position, position.
Garlic prefers a sunny position.(That was easy)

I'm planting the Hardneck variety 'Monaro Purple' today, I'll plant the Softneck variety 'Italian White' in a week or two.

The three bulbs I received from Green Harvest gave me 28 cloves which, if I planted in one straight row would be about 5mts long and at 9 cloves per bulb that should yield me somewhere around 252 cloves, fingers crossed.

Soil Preparation, is very similar to carrots where by you use a part of the garden that has been manured and enriched for a previous crop. Too much fertility and you'll get all top and no bottom.
Also the growth will be too "soft" and will be more susceptible to disease.

I was going to use my mighty Cow manure on this bed as well as the compost but after consulting a few reference books I decided against it (I didn't want to run the risk of too "soft" growth) and just added some of my best compost at a bucket full per mtq sq.

I have a slightly acid soil here and all my reference books suggested Garlic like a slightly alkaline soil so on goes the dolomite again at a hand full per/mtr sq. I should have done this about two or three weeks ago but it's not a perfect world.

The Garlic bed all dug over and ready for planting.

Planting time? Now.
Well for me anyhow.

Garlic likes a month or two of cold weather from below 0-10 degrees Celsius and is usually planted in autumn or early winter.

It seems everyone has an opinion on when's the best time to plant and in the long run it's probably best to use local knowledge or experiment from year to year to find your best planting time.

Planting, Plant cloves 10cm (4 in) deep, spacing them 18cms (7 in) apart in rows 35(14 in) to 40 cms (16 in)apart.
Edit, 1/4/09. Some where around here I should have mentioned to plant pointy end up.

There's more to this than I thought so I'm going for a Garlic Part 3 which will include after care, Pest and Diseases, and Harvesting.

Garlic Part 1

Garlic Part 3


Prospero said...

I was surprised to hear that you are planting garlic in Australia. I thought that garlic needed "real" winter weather to grow properly. The temperature in Bermuda never gets below 10 Celsius so I nixed the idea. Have you hear of Bear's garlic? It's also known as Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum). You use the leaves, which have a garlic/chives taste. Medicinally, it is more potent that garlic (so I hear). I was going to try it as an annual (from seed stratified in the refrigerator for a month).

Kate said...

Hi Stewart, thanks for dropping by our seedsavers blog. An organic market gardener friend of mine only plants the outside row of his saved garlic bulbs and keeps the rest to eat. He says you need big cloves to get big bulbs. I tried it last year and grew the best garlic I have ever grown. Good luck and happy gardening!

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