Planted garlic yesterday

wcthomasNovember 16, 2012

I bought a second home in Floyd last month with 25 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and finally got my new garden started! I had a local farmer plow a 50' x 80' plot of virgin grass land for me and have been working on preparing the garlic bed, so yesterday I planted 400 cloves total of Russian Red, Estonian Red, German Red, German White, and Music. Today it gets a thick straw mulch for the winter.

The soil looks nice - rich brown and friable, appears to be a silt/clay loam with good drainage. I'll leave the rest of the garden rough until spring, and then disk or till it for the rest of the crops. I'll be growing over 20 vegetables with the emphasis on tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and corn.

It's so nice to finally have a large sunny garden! I have been growing veggies for over 35 years, but my garden in NJ for the last 20 years only gets 4-5 hours of sun, so I have been very limited. That garden is now closed!

Lovely State y'all have here! It was thrilling yesterday evening after getting the garlic in, standing in the middle of my future garden on top of the hill, all dirty and stiff, breathing fresh air, and watching the sun set over the mountains. I think I'm going to enjoy it here!


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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

Welcome to the Old Dominion, Tom. Floyd Co. is a lovely spot.
That's a lot of garlic! All for personal use? What was your source for those varieties?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 8:25AM
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Thanks Coffeehaus! Garlic is easy to over plant when you have the room as it is such a fun crop. I have been growing about 250 garlic bulbs in past years for personal use, about half for canning salsa and tomato sauce and the rest for cooking, roasting, drying, and freezing. Admittedly we have not been able to consume it all and are still eating frozen garlic from the 2011 harvest.

In spite of this I planted extra this year because I have no idea how the crop will turn out this first year of planting in virgin soil. If the bulbs are large I will be swimming in garlic and will likely give a lot away, and maybe sell some to local restaurants or at a farmer's market. I also want to make sure I have enough large bulbs for planting next year.

About half of the cloves I planted last month are from my 2012 harvest, and the rest I bought at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in NY in September. If this year's crop yields nice fat cloves I won't need to buy seed garlic in the future. Since I'll have twice the sunshine this year (NJ garden is very shady), I'm hoping that will be the case.

In April I'll be planting 400 onion plants, but I'm sure we will be able to consume all of these!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 8:41AM
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Aloha Tom:
Amazing how quickly that question was answered. I had just questioned (on your other post) how the garlic plans were progressing and low an answer. With the prolonged growing season we had this are the plants doing? Gotta be good with the new ground? Any problem with grass returning? Did you plant any lettuce or greens in the Fall? Its great to find someone semi-close to talk garden with. Max

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:25AM
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Hi Max,

The garlic plants look great - the shoots are just 1-2" tall and still below the straw mulch, exactly what I expected and wanted at this stage. With the warmer than average weather we've had, the ground was not frozen as of two weeks ago and hopefully the roots are growing madly. I expect the tops to pop above the mulch in early March, at which time I'll hit them with some nitrogen.

No weeds at all in the garden yet, and should get none in the garlic bed with it's thick straw mulch. I will cover the entire garden with straw or hay come May, so weeds and water will be little problems.

I did not get a chance to plant any fall crops. The garden is still rough plowed and needs to be disked in March with amendments to prepare the beds.

Next crop out will be onions in the first week of April, followed by cold crops in mid April, and warm crops in mid May. Of course I first need to set up an electrified wire fence to keep out the deer and other pests. I'll be starting seedlings under lights soon!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:10AM
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