I took advantage of dry weather this week to get the garlic planted. I finished yesterday just in time before rain showers moved in. I usually plant garlic here about this time of year, sometime around the end of October to early November. Last year I split the planting into two days, since I had the garlic in two different areas. This year it all went in one wide row in the main garden.
I decided to grow the garlic where I had sweet potatoes growing earlier this year. That soil was nice and loose, since I had made a raised ridge of soil when I planted the sweet potatoes back in June. I spread a layer of compost over the area ( about 5 bushels worth) and then sprinkled some 3-4-4 organic fertilizer at the rate of about 6 lbs per 100 square feet. I made a shallow pass with the tiller to work the compost and fertilizer in, then raked the area smooth. Now I was ready to try my new garlic planting jig!
But first I had to get the planting stock ready. I never break the cloves apart (aka ‘cracking’ them) until the last minute. Since I plant quite a few different varieties, I count out the number of cloves and put them in a small bowl with a plastic marker to keep everything straight. I try and pick the larger cloves to use for planting stock, which usually means I get them from several different heads of garlic. I don’t soak or peel the cloves before planting.
To aid in planting, I used a length of twine to mark a straight line down the row. Then I pressed the planting jig down in the soil. When I lifted it up, I was pleased to see 24 perfectly spaced planting holes marked out in a 6 inch by 8 inch grid pattern.
The two inch long dowels had done a great job of marking the planting holes. And I found that it was easy to use my thin trowel to open up the planting hole and drop in the clove of garlic – pointed side up of course!
Using the jig really helped speed up the planting process. I wound up planting 228 cloves of garlic, and it only took a little over an hour to do it. Later on I’ll plant some of the smaller cloves in another area for green garlic.
For more information on growing and preserving garlic, check out these related posts:
- Dehydrating Garlic
- Easy Refrigerator Pickled Garlic
- Growing Green Garlic
- How To Have Fresh Garlic All Year Long
- It’s Garlic Planting Time
- Homemade Garlic Planting Jig