Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Planting Garlic in Oregon

Last year I planted garlic during a waning moon phase on the first of October, in Austin TX. This year i have no garden, but i still get to plant some garlic with a group of teenagers in their garden in Corvallis OR. I have no idea if the moon was waxing or waning, but i think we did a pretty fine job of it.

We first prepared the beds by tilling them well, then working in some fish meal and raking the beds smooth. I purchased about 6 varieties of garlic from local vendors at the Corvallis Farmer's Market including Chinese Pink, Music, Medechi, and California Late White: a mix of softnecks and hardnecks that should be good for their Spring farmer's market sales next year. The planting went well (while i was there at least). Here's how we did it.

Break the bulbs and lay out the cloves 6-8 inches apart. I like to lay out the cloves first, THEN plant - helps to prevent the ole' did i plant one here yet or not? quandary. Label the bed well!

Once we laid them out, we used skinny trowels to poke down about 6 inches, sprinkle in a mixture of bone and blood meal, drop the cloves in sideways or sprout side up then loosely cover with dirt.

Once they're all planted and covered we put down a nice layer of compost. Once they get their hands on some hay or leaves the beds will be mulched until Spring when the mulch should be moved back. Voila! Thanks to Kayla for being such a great hand model - though i'm still not sure why y'all insist on wearing those surgical gloves for gardening. I prefer dirty fingernails, myself ;)

Planting this batch of garlic is bittersweet for me, since I won't get to see it grow in the Spring or taste it or braid it - I guess i'll just have to pay it a visit in the Spring, along with the multiplying onions i gifted them. Those things are like my children.

Do you enjoy teaching others how to plant things?

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