Monthly Archives: September 2015

Garlic Beds Ready to PLant

20150922_154743Here’s part of the new acre of ground John has readied for this falls planting.  What was pasture a year ago has been repeatedly cultivated over the summer to burn off weeds in the hot sun, reduce  predatory insect populations and with more compost from Net Zero produce a crumbly, chocolate cake like texture to the soil.

20150923_085728Here is the disc hiller in action.  One pass of the tractor and a raised bed is formed.  Our beds are 40 inches acress with 8″ spacing between cloves.  That gives us 5 plants in a row.  The bed is approximately 6-8 inches high depending on soil conditions.

20150923_113653John’s creative brain dreamed up this dimpler attachment this summer. Once the raised beds are formed he does a second pass with this dimpler and lays down the planting pattern.  This makes the whole planting process much more efficient.  We can easily plant 1000 cloves an hour including the rake-over to finish.  The picture below gives you a better look at the finished pattern.




Published: September 24, 2015 | Comments: 0

Popping seed Garlic: A Few Tips

20150725_063556 20150923_131538After a summer of drying out of the sun and with the help of a fan, our seed garlic was nicely primed for popping in September.  We have 400 pounds of seed garlic (all varieties included) which should produce enough viable cloves for nearly 30,000 plants. That is not counting the garlic rounds or bulbils which we will discuss later this month.

John is showing how we pop our garlic the day before planting.  Notice the small box of bicarbonate of soda sitting on the black seed tray.  He is putting the individual popped cloves into the white pail at his feet.  We will get 2000 cloves in the pail and after adding enough water to cover the lot and a half cup of soda powder they will sit overnight.  The bicarb kills pathogens like bacteria and fungi.  We do this for our own seed garlic even though we doubt there are any pathogens to worry about.  For seed garlic purchased from a third party- absolutely mandatory. The soaking also helps trigger the cloves to sprout.  We need several weeks of good root development between planting and the first frost.  You don’t want your dormant cloves to sit in the soil without sprouting.  This delays root development and invites rot into the clove.

20150927_143054Here’s the finished product.  2000 cloves ready to plant the next morning.  We will fill 15 of these pails during the planting weeks ahead.

Published: September 23, 2015 | Comments: 0