Saturday, March 30, 2013

Garlic Goodness

not much can beat garlic .... the tasty goodness that comes from adding this tidbit to a roast, stir fry, fried rice or as a fried topping to a dish .... well what can i say?

so i committed that when fall came around, well .... i was going to plant enuf to keep us in garlickey goodness all year long.  and it started with the creation of the alums bed.

we've been using our mini-chook tractor to dig up our long bed dedicated to alums (leeks, garlic and onions).  The edges of these beds had newspaper laid down to inhibit any grass regrowth, and on top of this was lasagna layered goodness of straw and compost.  not to mention of course the yummy goodness added by the chook scratching and manure!

as you can see in this picture, the first set of leeks have been planted out ... gonna have to take the mower around the front end pretty close.  but we can keep the grass in check i think.

the area just beyond that has been stratched up thoroughly and has had newspaper and lasagna layers put down, all in readiness for planting three kinds of garlic.  

the first batch went in today.  this is a local variety (italian) .... i figure i need to try this out because if it grows well for another local, it should grow well for us!  i have also ordered an elephant garlic (mild) and hardneck variety (supposed to be great for sub tropics) from Green Harvest.  so they'll be going in as soon as auspost delivers them.

i wanted to try a variation of a method that i have heard that the guys at Chicken Thistle Farm use (check here to listen to their podcast).  their premise is that far too many early bulbs of garlic are lost because of invasive grasses and weeds and not being able to tell the difference between them.  they prepare the soil, water it thoroughly and then  put down the equivalent of an organic butcher paper that they plant the garlic bulbs through and then cover with mulch.  this apparently does a good job of keeping the weeds out.

but i wanted to try a version that used resources at hand. yeah, okay ... so something that was FREE!

enter stage right:  the humble but ever so useful newspaper!  not a heavy layer .... just a 2-3 sheet thickness, enuf to mimic the idea of the butcher paper. 

after the soil was watered thoroughly, the newspaper was applied and wet down completely.  i liked the look of this .... it was all making sense.

and with the help of my youngest, we got busy planting, i poked the holes in the newspaper and he poked the garlic in (right way up, of course!) .... and at the end of it .... we had planted out over 72 cloves of garlic ... 

so after the cloves were planted they were covered with a light layer of straw that was watered in to make a nice winter bed for these little babies.

i'll repeat this process for the other two  batches ... can't wait .... i reckon we'll have over 250 cloves planted by the time we are done ....

have i mentioned how much we are loving our tree change / sustainable life?


  1. Thanks for reminding me, I have to get out and plant my garlic too! We lost our whole crop last year to too much rain so I am picking a raised bed for it this year to see if I do any better. What a great garden bed you made!You have come a long way from being a town girl in the Blue Mountains!

    1. Kim ... that life seems so far removed from how we live now! i can't imagine going back to the town life! i watch the news and see the traffic jams and crime and go "why would i ever go back????" the kids still struggle some times .... but i reckon once we have the house built things will ease up a bit on that front too.

  2. Thank you for sharing this helpful information with many others.