In the last post about garlic Garlic Time Coming Up I mentioned that I was waiting until the Autumn equinox for planting garlic. Well here in Australia the Autumn equinox is March 20. I would have been planting garlic today, 23 March but we had a rather protracted thunderstorm from about 3pm and it is still making its presence known at 8pm.
So tomorrow I will get my three varieties from the fridge and get them in the ground. The reason they are in the fridge is because garlic is a cold weather crop and putting it in the fridge winterises it. From what I have read, the suggestions are from 2 weeks to six weeks, with one grower storing all his garlic in the crisper as soon as it is harvested. What isn’t eaten is planted next season.
I have never winterised garlic before so this is a bit of an experiment. To give me something to measure against, I purchased a pack marked Australian garlic from Woolies. It was already in cloves and in a small flatpack. There were about a dozen good sized cloves. These were planted around a week ago and I noticed today that they were poking through. My previous efforts with supermarket garlic haven’t been brilliant, so we will see how this one works.
I use the trench method of composting. Originally I dug trenches where the walkways are and built up the garden beds on each side of the bed. I then filled the trenches with lawn clippings and cardboard. I also throw some lime in and crusher dust and let it decompose and compost over the next twelve months. When it is time to renovate the garden beds, I dig up all the walkways and turn up all the composted material onto the beds. There is a bit of exercise involved which is all good. The material from the trenches is great, full of worms and seems to help everything grow.
Because of the amount of compost from the trenches that go on the garden beds, I don’t have to do much digging when planting. The soil as that loose and friable, it is a pleasure to get your nails dirty.
Getting enough lawn clippings
I have a lawn mowing contractor drop off lawn clippings from time to time. Recently he has been here every week because of all the rain we have had. If I can’t put it straight into the trenches, I pile it up and let it compost away until I need it.
I wrote the draft for this post on 21 March and four days later the first
Silver Skin Glen Large garlic was poking its nose throught the soil. The Glen Large Silver Skin and the Elephant Garlic has yet to make an appearance. I planted the cloves of the Glen Large and the Elephant deeper than the Silverskin. The smaller cloves looked like they shouldn’t be as deep.
Thank goodness I marked the beds to know which is which garlic. The Glen Large is the garlic that has sprouted, not the Silver Skin.
The green net is the bag the garlic came in with the tag showing which garlic it is. Hopefully I haven’t put the wrong bag on the bamboo stick. Anything’s possible. All’s good, I am off to buy some fish. Check out the header, I’ve started work on the wicking bed.