|a standard softneck with the outer paper removed||s|
Begin by breaking up your bulb of garlic into the individual cloves. We refer to the single cloves as seed because it is how we grow our garlic. Depending on what kind of bulb you have you might find yourself with an inner ring of smaller cloves surrounded by the outer ring of larger cloves. We plant only the larger cloves because they will yield us the larger bulbs. You may plant the smaller cloves if you choose. We usually save up all our inner cloves and use them for cooking. Do not peel each individual clove as this is a protector and barrier for the garlic seed. The young garlic sprout will break through this without any issue . We presoak our cloves overnight in water as we believe this helps us get a jump on germination.
Flat ground or raised bed planting :
|Handy Dan using his favorite tool to level a bed|
|our presoaked garlic cloves or seeds|
We do lots of berm planting which we do a little different than your standard flat ground or raised bed planting. A raised berm is nothing more than a mound of soil raised above the ground set in a row. We prefer this method as it seems to be easier to amend the soil, weed, and harvest. Having amended the soil of our berms , we then flatten out the top of it to knock down any peak which may have formed while we were amending. This usually leaves us with a nice smooth and rounded row . We plant our garlic 6 to 8 inches apart from one another in any direction including our rows. We stagger the seed apart from one another one might say in a checkerboard fashion. Using a small stick we gently push it in the berm forming a 2 to 3 inch hole and place the garlic seed in it. We then cover up the hole ( containing the seed -point side up , root side down ) with earth and that's how it's done.
You will find when your garlic sprouts they are looking a lot like green onions or spring onions and they easily grow all winter long. Occasionally water but do not drown out the plants . We do not fertilize before springtime as we do not encourage bulb growth during winter. We do amend our soil before planting to help give the plant a good jump on it's fall and winter growing. Come springtime is when we begin to add in our amendments. Since we are organic or naturally growing we do not use any artificial fertilizers and instead revert to leaf mulch mixed with aged horse manure and amended with Compost. Sometimes we may use a liquid fertilizer of fish emulsion, compost tea, or our own manure tea . This of course is sprayed at the base of the growing plants and not on them.
Chesnok Garlic soaking before planting