garlic planting tutorial (it's time!)

Right about now, at least in the temperate north, it is the perfect time to plant your garlic. Here is a simple guide to next season's bounty:
  • A stop at your farmer's market will provide you with garlic that is adapted to your local conditions. I bought bulbs of two varieties from different farms in Nova Scotia as well as two red types that aren't local that I am experimenting with.
  • Choose large well-formed bulbs. And from these choose the largest individual cloves to plant. Clove size is a better genetic determinant than bulb size of healthy, abundant garlic. I especially like the purple-tinged ones.
  • Before planting 'crack' the individual cloves from the main head and choose those big, robust ones.
  • This is the time to give consideration to next year's garden configuration. Remember garlic needs full sun.
  • Plant garlic (pointy side up!) 4" to 8" apart and cover with at least 2" of soil. 
  • Adding a layer of mulch - I used fresh seaweed but straw, hay, compost and leaves will also work - keeps the soil temperature constant. Garlic hates freeze and thaw cycles which are common here in NS.
  • That's it for now! In early spring you will start to see your garlic shoots emerging. And in July the tops will start to brown and fade signaling time for harvest. We'll talk more later about harvesting, curing and storage.


evening stroll

A few pics from a late summer stroll up the path behind my cabin shortly before I left Oregon. Magic?

hot hot hot!

I took this photo of my cayenne peppers on my last day on the farm in Oregon. It's the first place I've lived that I could really grow these spicy little heat-lovers. I'm now home in Halifax, NS and the lovely fall we had been having has turned bitterly cold! Just thinking about that long hot summer takes away a bit of the chill...