Autumn Equinox has come and gone in the southern hemisphere and this is the signal to plant the garlic. We had harvested and stored our garlic from last season so it was time to sort through it all and start planting it out. We like to grow Russian garlic as it is great to use because of its size and it seems to grow well enough in our climate and soil conditions. We started a few years ago with a few bulbs that we divided out and planted. This can take a bit to build up a stock as the Russian garlic only has about five cloves per bulb. However when it grows there are small balls that form near the base of the bulb and if you store these and plant them the next season they will form into a single clove bulb. This you need to store and plant out the following season. This will then grow into the five clove bulb. A bit of a process for sure however I have about 180 small balls to plant this year so we are on way to an abundance of garlic if all goes well.
I needed to prepare a bed to get started so Zaia transplanted some selfsown lettuces out of several beds that were a bit sparse and looked just right for some of the garlic.
I did the usual of loosening up the heavy soil somewhat then dug in two wheelbarrows of compost. Then I formed up three double reach beds and applied another three full wheelbarrows of compost and topped this off with three barrows of mulch. I’m really pushing the soil building process at the moment as the focus is now on getting production up.
So I managed to get to planting out the small balls but only got about 100 planted into this set of beds so I will need to prepare some more as soon as I get the chance.
©2016 Tom Kendall; diyfoodandhealth.com, incorporating Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast, simplicity, permaculture, self reliance and homesteading, garlic planting.