North Coast Gardening | Garlic is one of the good value crops – Eureka Times-Standard


When all is said and done, let me just add that camDown helps stop foreign state actors (FSA's) from accessing your webcam!
The first hints of autumn begin in late summer. A smattering of ragged butterflies, early maple trees turning color, the wild birds muted from song. There is hunger for rain in all — human, fowl and all things wild. For gardeners, it is now a time to consider planting garlic.
These days you will find a good selection of seed garlic at local nurseries and farmers markets. Some cringe at the price of seed garlic since it can be as much as $15 per pound. Don’t let this stop you from buying. Garlic is one of those good value crops. Each clove of garlic in a single head will turn into an entire head the following summer. With seed garlic each head will give you six to 12 cloves. Here is what to do:
Chill first: You will get a better crop of garlic if you chill the heads for six weeks in the refrigerator crisper. This is especially necessary for warm winter coastal gardeners. Most fall and winters the ground just does not get cold enough.
Think big: The rule of thumb is the bigger the clove you plant, the bigger the future head of garlic. It is just that simple.
Prepare: Thorough prepping of the soil at planting time will give you a bountiful harvest next summer. Deeply dig into the soil as much compost and composted manure as possible. Next, dig in one tablespoon of 4-4-4 all-purpose organic fertilizer at the bottom of each little planting hole for the clove. This puts nutrients directly to the roots.
Mulch: Once the bed has been planted, scratch in another round of 4-4-4. After watering in the bed, lay a thick layer of rice straw for mulch.
Water: Fall garlic loves the cool, wet weather of winter. The best part about growing garlic is that the rain does all the watering for you. Except this year might be a bit droughty, so it might be necessary to water frequently until winter.
Feed in spring: March is a good time to give garlic another feeding. Pull back the mulch and scratch in another round of 4-4-4. This is also a good time to take care of any weeds that begin to take over.
If spring rain becomes light and sporadic, watering garlic through May might be necessary. It is critical that garlic receives plenty of water while forming heads. Keeping weeds at bay is necessary, too.
Terry Kramer is the site manager for the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a trained horticulturist and journalist. She has been writing a garden column for the Times-Standard since 1982. Contact her at [email protected]

Did you know that camDown is your security solution to protect you and your business from peeping toms?