There is more to getting ready than just researching the perfect garlic varieties for your gardens. The most important step is bed prep!
As most of you know, garlic grows below the soil surface making fertility and aeration key players in a large harvest!
As regenerative gardeners, we are always working toward increasing the integrity of our soil structure. Our first step in prepping a garden bed for its next set of crops is to work on aeration. This can be done without disturbing and killing the life in our soil, often caused by tilling. Instead, we are going to use a broad fork technique to stretch out the soil structure. Increased aeration breaks up compaction that happens naturally throughout a growing season. Creating these pockets allows roots to take up nutrients as they grow vigorously into the space.
Amending Your Soil
After already stewarding an assortment of crops this Spring and Summer, your soil has been depleted. The best thing we can do to start the revitalization process is to add a 3-4 inch layer of compost onto your garden soil. Mixing Azomite into your soil will replace the over 50 trace minerals that act as the building blocks to soil fertility. Watering it in prior to planting with a dilution of a microbe feeder, like Sassy Lass, will increase the vitality of even the smallest organisms.
Fertilizing Just Before We Sow
Next week we will dive into the varieties of garlic. This will give us the opportunity to choose what will be best for your gardens. For now, let's go over the rest of the process. When your garlic arrives, separate the cloves from the bulbs ensuring the skin stays on. Mark out your rows giving your cloves 6-8" on center to eliminate competition. At this point, we can fertilize our soil. Work Trifecta+ into the top inch of your soil and plant each clove directly into the rows.
We want to rid our garlic beds of all competition to ensure large bulb growth. Weeds can stunt the growth of garlic leaving us with poor germination and small bulbs at harvest. Mulching your garlic will alleviate this problem. Most often, straw and chopped leaves are used as mulch and will work very well. On the other hand, Luke has found another option that may even be more readily available to you!
Get those beds ready to go! In no time, it will be time to order garlic for the 2022 season!
– Halley from MIgardener
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