Yesterday I pushed myself to get work done on the homestead. It can be hard to get focused in October and November. It’s bleak out, a little chilly and often rainy here in the PNW. But I get a feeling when it is time. Time to plant garlic that is.
Call me crazy, but I will ignore it as a chore and then suddenly, I just know it is time. Maybe I have been doing it so long, or it is a smell in the air.
The weather is about to shift, with arctic born air coming into Washington. So don’t mock me on the smell part. The air is different this week.
Nonetheless, I got the message loudly yesterday and got my best farm helper, the youngest, and we got to work.
This fall we are tearing down and rebuilding the majority of our growing areas, so I was frustrated on where would I plant garlic, since it must be in the ground soon.
So I sat down in the garden and just thought about it. It came to me that I should rip everything out and use the swimming pool beds to do garlic in. So we weeded 7 of the pools. The stuff in them was done for the season, and I just needed the push to finish it all. We have 10 pools in the area. One has strawberries in it, the other has self seeded green onions coming up, and the largest bed I just pulled South American potatoes out of…and if one knows potatoes, once planted there, you will have potatoes for life.
We also planted garlic in a random raised bed that sits by itself. It was the base of a chicken coop for a couple of years, till it was falling in. We grew bush green beans in it this year. It works well with just a low fence around it, which will keep feet out of it. Overall nothing but humans want to eat garlic I have found. The deer ignore it. The rabbits don’t want it.
Garlic will grow quite well in raised beds. If in colder areas you will want to smother with hay or leaves to help insulate during the cold months. This we will do after the big maple trees drop leaves. That is just starting however.
The fence on the lone raised bed will also keep the leaves in, and not blow away in the winds in December.
Last month we had separated all of our garlic:
It was fully cured, and ready to go. Much easier this way than having to break up bulbs as we worked. See this post for how we accidentally cured our garlic this year.
It only took 2 hours to weed and plant where we could. I felt better knowing I had my garlic in the ground, even if it wasn’t all of it. There is a high chance this coming week we will have the first frost of the year. And this is what garlic thrives on.