Every spring I lament the fact that I didn't plant any garlic in the fall. I love garlic, and it's dead-simple to grow from what I've read, and I grow lots of other herbs and vegetables, but garlic is something I've never managed. Garlic chives, yes (loads and loads of it). Actual garlic? No.
This is probably because of the planting time. It's the time of year that I'm winding things up and getting everything ready for winter, and I don't think about planting, or I think about it after it's much too late.
Last year I tried planting some garlic cloves in the spring, hoping that would work -- it didn't. Not surprising, but encouraging that I was thinking about garlic and actually did something about it. Seeing that little plot of ground staying pretty much bare all summer long kept reminding me about it too: "gotta plant the garlic this fall, gotta plant the garlic this fall..."
So for the last few days I've been looking for local sources of garlic to plant...
I couldn't find any.
The first year that I'm ready and willing to plant garlic at the right time, and I can't find any to plant? That's just wrong. Very frustrating.
Luckily my neighbor is more prepared, organized, and conscientious than I am when it comes to garden edibles, and had several cloves left over from his planting last year. He was happy to share some with me:
So yesterday after a day of digging some new planting beds and working on the pond (both posts to come this week), I planted the garlic. In the late fall/early winter like it's supposed to be. For the first time ever. (I know I keep saying that, but it seems like a big accomplishment for me.)
I was expecting to need to add some compost to the soil and had some ready for this, but the soil was remarkable loose and friable. In fact it may be some of the best soil in my yard right now -- I guess the work I did on it last year paid off. I did notice that there were several mole tunnels underneath this bed, but that's not too surprising as moles burrow around back here all year long. I stamped the soil down to collapse the tunnels and then dug it back up to loosen it again for planting.
I should point out that it was getting pretty dark outside at this time, so I wasn't able to take any photos. Images of the planting process would be pretty boring though, so you're not missing anything.
The one interesting thing that happened: I texted my neighbor asking how deep to plant. His answer of "2 at bottom" was a bit confusing, but he clarified that as "2 inch deep hole". Great! My trowel has depth markings on it, so I'll just use those...
Um, what is this? Millimeters maybe? It's got to be that (25mm is 1"). Turns out that it was too dark to really use these markings anyway, so I just used my best judgement. Some of them may have been planted too deeply, so hopefully planting depth isn't critical.
So there you have it: my first ever correctly-timed garlic planting! Updates when warranted.