Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring garlic planting

Finally some sunshine! I was literally going crazy. Literally. Ask my hubby. Another day cooped up inside on that d*mn couch and I think I might have gone postal. :-D Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I spent all winter toasty warm with my little baby space heater, but I am ecstatic to get out and move a bit. It was rather hard to keep active with no safe place to walk, no swimming pool and no abdominal muscle control for dancing. But, now the earth is warming, the days will be longer than the nights, I can get out and walk and that all makes me really really happy. It will help with the upcoming labor too, both physically and emotionally.

We got out yesterday in the community plot and planted the garlic bulbs. Now, these were supposed to go in the ground last fall. They go in when the soil hits 60 degrees in late fall, with a 4" layer of straw to keep them cozy over winter and they pop up in early spring. Needless to say, between the morning sickness and job hunting it didn't happen. So, it's kind of an experiment to see what happens. The soil temps are still in the 30's, so it's the earliest I can manage. Dave had to help me since I'm unbalanced right now, but with his help we got the icy ground broken up and mixed with the nice warm top layer, and the cloves poked into their rows. I did some research, and about half the people who have tried planting in spring said it worked fine, and the other half got only large cloves at the end of the summer. Check back with me at the end of July and see how the experiment turns out. :-D

For my own records, the rows West to East are: German Hardy, Russian Giant and Chesnook Red. Last year I trialed 6 varieties, I whittled out the varieties that didn't grow as robustly, leaving me with these 3. Hopefully, this year I'll get another decent harvest of storable bulbs and I can look into which stores better and longer. But for now, I'm happy with growing all three. I only got about a dozen cloves of each planted, so that means a smaller harvest than last year. I'll have to supplement with garlic from some of my local market farmers in order to store enough local garlic to see my family through the winter. Not a problem, since I can get them for a dollar a bulb or so in August, I just have to remember to set aside the $20 to make sure it happens.

I'm down to the last few bulbs hanging from lonely little braids in the basement. And those are starting to shrivel and sprout, so I'll probably use them up this month. I'll have to try and live with the chopped garlic in oil that's in the fridge until the garlic crop gets harvested. I think we'll make it.

Dave says I should explain the comments about "used diapers" from last week's post. So, just in case anyone reading this didn't understand what I was talking about, here's the explanation.
We are diapering our little one with cloth diapers. They get washed and dried and reused, and when baby outgrows them they can be used for another baby, or recycled into rags or whatever. So by saying we have used diapers waiting for the little one, I was not telling you about a pile of dirty diapers. :giggle: I was telling you about the dozens of prefolds and fitteds that I have scavenged or made. They are neither dirty nor smelly, but they are used diapers.

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