If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the post I added yesterday about planting garlic. This is the first year I am seriously trying to grow garlic, and so I’ve done a lot of research and I’m very excited to see what I can get. But, isn’t this garlic gorgeous! I bought these three varieties, all three are organic, disease free, and heirloom varieties. These varieties cam from MIGardener.com. They are not a sponsor, and many varieties are sold out or selling out fast. With that out of the way, before I could plant my garlic, I first had to pull my remaining plants from my raised beds and fabric bags. With this, I was able to save several Parris Island lettuce seeds. I will include those steps at the bottom of this post. I then amended my raised beds, then I planted my garlic.
My first frost day is only 2 weeks away when I planted the garlic yesterday. It is recommended planting garlic at least 3 weeks before first frost, but we just got over a cold snap yesterday where we had 4 nights of frost. The weather is calling for warm temperatures for the next week, so I’m taking a gamble that we won’t be getting another frost for a couple more weeks.
To amend my beds, I first pulled all my plants, but my marigolds. It was just a personal choice to keep them. I think they are beautiful and have a lot of life left in them, so it didn’t feel right pulling them yet, so I just worked around them. To make up for this, I will add some fertilizer in their place next spring to add more nutrients in those spots. Once I pulled the plants, I then pulled down all my netting. This made it easier to move the soil around. Our beds are 8 ft by 4 ft and pressure treated. We added in one fabric bag to one bed and two fabric bags to the other bed. We then split a bag of peat moss between the two beds. We also added 2 bags of aged cow manure into each bed and mixed it all into the top 4 inches of each bed. The reason we added the fabric bags was because the dirt in them had a lot of clay and dried out very quickly. We added 2 bags to one bed because the soil in that second bed was very poor, so we wanted more organic matter in the bed, so we added more dirt. You could also add potting soil if you needed to fill your beds more, but potting soil is expensive, so if top soil were an option, it would be better. I aim for a ratio of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost/manure, and 1/3 top soil for a healthy and balanced soil.
- Plant garlic rows 6 inches apart
- Plant garlic cloves 6 inches apart in a row
- Place garlic cloves 2-3 inches under ground
- Cover garlic with 4-6 inches of hay or mulch before your first frost
- Plant garlic at least 3 weeks before your first frost to allow time for root development before they go into dormancy
- Place chicken wire/hardware cloth over your beds to prevent animals from digging
- Uncover garlic once risk of frost has passed
- Water garlic often in the fall and spring and fertilize often in the spring and summer; garlic is a heavy feeder
- Garlic is ready once the outer 1-2 leafs are dead and dry, any more than that and the garlic won’t dry and will just rot instead
Parris Island lettuce makes yellow flowers, that once fertilized become white fluffs with seeds attached. To get the seed, simply remove the heads that have already gone to seed, remove the stem, then remove the fluff from the seed. You only need a few flowers to get lots of seeds.