This story was first published in October 2018.
Last year, we felt we had made some important mistakes in planting our garlic – and this is why we wanted to try harder to do it right this year.
Our biggest mistake was over time. Garlic should be planted in the fall or two after the first light frost. But life was busy and we missed that (big) window last year and decided to plant our garlic in the spring. Garlic, on the other hand, needs a cold season called vernialization to break down the bark and form an onion head. The garlic that was planted in the spring jumped that step, and most of the garlic heads we collected were just one larger, rounder shell than the usual small and distinctive branches.
We were kind enough to believe what we did in Shorsmont, Maine, and John Torston, which sows 4,000 cloves per year.
“Spring planting is good, but the key is to get into the ground as much as possible in the spring. It is better to plant in the fall because they get bigger heads. ” “The idea is not to plant early in the harvest. If we have a hot October, it will start to sprout and may lose its size in the spring.
One big mistake we didn’t make was getting garlic from an unknown and unreliable source. This is because white disease is spreading all over the country. This deadly fungal infection can infect all plants in the alimentary canal, but garlic and onion are the most vulnerable. White decomposition prefers cool and moist soils and eventually kills damaged plants. To make matters worse, once it is in your garden or in your fields, nothing can be done about it except to stop planting allium. White rot can be a barrier to garlic or onion production for up to 40 years, and is not underestimated by experts such as Turson.
“I am very careful,” he said. Garlic used to be very forgiving, but then these diseases began to appear. I no longer buy garlic from afar. ”
Encourages people looking for garlic to find a local farmer. You can’t just go out and plant what you find in a grocery store, he said – some garlic is barren and doesn’t grow.
Step One Find a place and set it up
Once you have prepared locally grown, safe seed garlic, you will want to prepare your soil. Do not sow garlic in the field where you worked last year. In fact, the best thing to do is to have a four-year rotation program, so wait four years before you can put garlic or onions in the same place again. When the place is known, know that garlic loves rich soil. Tourson fertilizes the soil with improved manure.
Step Two – Raise your beds slightly
Garlic does not grow well in very wet soils – it has a tendency to rot – and Torston uses plugs to raise the soil to five inches to make temporary raised beds.
“I would love to go out there if we had wet weather,” said Torston.
Third step – do not overheat the shell
He has so many cloves to plant that he makes perfect openings by planting figs on his beds. Garlic heads like the holes widened to encourage them to grow “really big.” In Turton’s beds, about three feet[3 m]he made six holes, four holes in the lines. He then walks about eight inches on the bed before inserting the next set of four rings.
(Optional) Step Four – Improve the holes
Next, Torston adds a little extra to each hole.
“One thing I do is not everyone does,” he said. “In each hole, I place a pinch of bone meal containing all these minerals and a pinch of azomite.
Animals may be attracted to bone meal, but Torston did not have problems with garlic.