Monday, June 16, 2008

Soggy Garlic, planning for fall

So, according to my garlic planting guide, I needed to refrain from watering the garlic after June 1st. Hahahaha... well I certainly didn't water them, but I'm thinking the 7 inches of rain we've gotten this month might be effecting my garlic. With any luck things will dry out for the next few weeks and maybe the skins won't rot off my garlic. *crosses fingers*
I planted 5 types of garlic this year. I thought it might be a few years before I had this kind of space again and I wanted to see what grew best. Up here in zone 4 I have to grow hardneck varieties of garlic. (For comparison, most of the garlic sold in stores is the softneck varieties, the picture above is one I've planted, notice the "hard neck" between the cloves) Two of the varieties, Music and Georgian Crystal, are small and slightly malformed. The other three are tall, sturdy and well formed. I'll do a taste test and storage test to make a final decision. Due to time constraints, (now is the time to order garlic for next year's planting) I won't have the taste test done in time, so I'll probably just order a couple heads of the three that are growing well and if one of them is really stellar in the taste test I'll plant an extra head of that one from the harvest.

The spring plantings are about petered out and the summer plants are growing quickly. If it's time to order garlic, that means it's time to start thinking about my fall garden. This year I want to try a fall harvest of turnips, lettuce and maybe radishes and carrots. The root crops will probably need to be in containers as my summer garden will be up in Boone and I'm stretching the forgiveness of my landlord to keep the garden up for August harvest after I'm off the lease. So, turnips and maybe carrots will be in a large pot. Beets and lettuce I could grow together in my cold frame which is mostly disassembled already, I just need to move the pieces and reconstruct it in Des Moines. It'll go on the south side of the house, pictured below. (the side with the concrete)
There's a shed just out of the picture to the left, so only half of the Southern exposure is really usable. I might put in a small tomato/herb bed under the mail box. Also not pictured is a HUGE evergreen tree to the right, putting most of that East lawn under deep shade. Most of the container garden will go on the sunny back porch. (West side of the house) The back porch is surrounded by a 3 foot strip of weeds on all 3 sides. I'll hope to dig those out and plant perennials this fall. I'm thinking rhubarb and strawberries and lilies and peonies and iris, with hostas in the deeper shade patches. Maybe a small rose bush, if I can find one small enough.
If you open the picture up to it's full size you can see the sunken windows for the basement that I hope to make a root cellar in to store all the fall harvest.

Lots of plans. :-) But, if you know me that shouldn't come as a surprise.
Move day is 2.5 weeks away!!
Handfasting is 1 month and 4 days away!!!


Brian said...

Where are you moving to? Are you renting?

Jennie said...

Moving to Des Moines! South side. :-) Only 6.5 miles from my office, so I'm thinking about biking 3 days a week.

Yea, we'll be renting. My student loans are unfortunately not conducive to owning right now. Hopefully we'll be able to save some money over the next couple of years and we'll think about owning at that point.