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First Planting, sharing the beds with Corn?

Posted by ocelaris 7a (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 22, 11 at 15:25

Hi, I just got my first batch of Garlic from

I have 6 varieties, and have read up quite a bit. I'm very excited as I love garlic, especially good varieties.

I have a very limited space in NYC, I have really great raised bed soil I've worked on for 3 years now with compost/mulch/topsoil, but it's only a 5x12'. I figure I can do 6"-8" spacing and get about 80 plants in there. But I'd like to plant something else later, namely corn towards the end of the garlic cycle. The bed is drip irrigated and everything, and corn needs it pretty warm, so I figure we could start the corn early june and half way through pull the Garlic. Does this sound feasible? Or am I going to make a huge mess pulling up the garlic? Do you just pull it up by it's leaves? The soil is extremely loose, so I'm hoping I don't disturb the corn too much.

I'm going to wait a week or two as it seems you don't want the garlic to sprout too much before the first frost. I just planted a cover crop in our other 3 beds, and I'm going to use hardwood mulch (if I can't find straw) over the garlic beds once they're planted and watered in.

Thanks, Bill

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First Planting, sharing the beds with Corn?

Hi Bill,
What you suggest does sound feasible, the garlic pulling wont disturb corn roots enough to cause a problem.
However i've really got to ask, if you've only got 5'x12' to work with, why would you plant corn? If it does really well you might harvest 30-50 ears from that space. That would cost you $20 to buy from an organic farmer that has acres to spare.
Instead you could grow salad, tomatoes, etc to eat all summer with tomato sauce to can for the winter.
Anyway, just my 2 cents. I grow veggies on a half acre and barely allow myself space for a little corn, other plants are just more space/fertility efficient.

RE: First Planting, sharing the beds with Corn?

I can see two problems with that plan right off: first, corn is a very heavy feeder, it could starve out the garlic or on the other hand, garlic is a pretty heavy feeder when it comes to nitrogen and it could starve out the corn. Second, the garlic needs to be allowed to dry out completely before harvesting. If kept wet it will continue to grow and will not store well for you.

And, yes, I believe it will be a huge mess, corn roots would be disturbed if not already strangled by the huge, thick mass of roots the garlic will put out. Plus, it would be a huge mess planting the corn, I'd think, when the garlic is already up and growing and you risk harming the garlic roots not to mention the precious bulb by digging around to plant the corn.

Any reason you don't grow in containers? You could put garlic in large containers and have your frivolous fun with the corn in your one bed.

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