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Old October 15, 2018   #16
bower
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Planting conditions were so perfect today, I went ahead and planted all I have room for in these two beds - in all about 220 cloves and my largest rounds - 14 varieties.
I was worried about the soil being a bit wet yesterday but besides the wind blowing and the sun shining these beds seem to be draining really well, and the soil condition today was ideal for planting. The temperature didn't reach 10C/50 F and the wind was brisk out of the west but dewpoint above freezing and actually not too bad for planting at all, my hands weren't even cold. I guess I realized it is not going to get any better than this, so just as well to plant with confidence that they are getting in on time and that is as good as it gets here.

Really happy to see the updated forecast when I came in, it looks like less than 20 mm tomorrow! That will just help them to snuggle in.

I will keep an eye on the rainfall amounts coming up though and maybe tarp the beds if it looks like we will be waterlogged. One tarp is on my old vegetable garden since 3 weeks ago, I have no idea if it was enough to kill off the vegetation in that time. I cut some trees and threw on top of it to help keep it from blowing away, so I hope it stays down during the storm tomorrow.
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Old October 19, 2018   #17
rxkeith
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my garlic is planted, big sigh of relief.

we had a two day break in the weather. yesterday was sunny and 67, today was in the 50s. i had two short shifts at work, so was able to till an area yesterday, and separated my garlic cloves. today after work i got the garlic in. a few rain drops were starting to fall, and i thought, please not now. wind has been blowing pretty good for several days. i decided to start planting, and see how it goes. the rain stopped, and i was able to finish and remain dry. the weekend weather isn't looking good. planting during snow showers, with temps in the 30s would not have been fun. been there, done that.

in ground are about 120 cloves comprised of my german hard neck, some locally bought garlic that looks like music, and 3 bulbs that were in the catawissa onions. not sure what variety. i also planted about 80 marble sized bulbils from the german garlic. the bulbils should each form a small bulb of garlic next summer from past experience, and full sized bulbs the following year.

done


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Old October 22, 2018   #18
PureHarvest
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I got a start on my planting this weekend.
Got two 14'x100' tunnels planted. 4 beds in each tunnel.
Ran out of space but still had cloves, so planted a ~100' bed in my field area

Of note: 20 lbs of Chesnock (large bulbs) planted 450' worth of beds (3 rows per bed, rows and cloves 9" apart).
20 lbs of German extra hardy (large and xtra large bulbs) planted 300' of beds
15 lbs of music (large and extra large) planted 180' of beds

9.5 more field beds (3'x200') to go and one more tunnel. Noreaster possible this weekend, gonna mess up my schedule, as I work during the week and rely on weekends for stuff like planting.

Another note: After soaking the cloves in fish fertilizer for 24 hrs, I had roots and shoots showing on about 25% of the cloves when we drained the buckets.
Normally don't use fish, as it is THE most expensive form of N pound per pound versus other sources and its not even close, but I had some free samples of a dehydrated super concentrate powder that is 15-1-1 and 100% dissolvable. Not sure if was the fert or the duration of the soak (could you get the same results with just water soak for 24hrs).
Not sure that soaking it fert even does anything. The cloves have a waxy surface under the clove wrappers and skins. It seems those are the only parts that are going to absorb fertilizer., not the clove itself.
Plus, after I drain the fert, I do a 10 minute soak in 10% hydrogen peroxide, so I wonder if that washes off the fert on the surfaces anyway.

Last edited by PureHarvest; October 22, 2018 at 12:07 PM.
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Old October 22, 2018   #19
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Mine went in yesterday with help from my son since I've been battling a bad sinus infection -- 102 cloves plus 27 small rounds, and about 18 shallots. I'll let it settle in for a few weeks before I mulch. Feels good to have it done!
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Old October 22, 2018   #20
svalli
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Today I received a small package of Havran cloves. A farmer sent me some of his leftover planting stock. I had to plant those right away, since the weather is cooling rapidly. I planted 35 to a raised bed and 64 to Rootrainers, which I buried in the soil in an other raised bed. I am hoping that when spring arrives I can dig the Rootrainers up and transplant the cloves to the field. Coming weekend will be really cold, so planting to the field anymore this fall is probably not a good choice.

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Old November 23, 2018   #21
bower
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Default snow as mulch under a tarp?

I hate to admit it but while I was busy working 12 hour days through october and first half of november, the weather changed to winter and I have ended up without mulch as yet. Leaves had not even dropped yet in the last week of October but then wind came and snatched them off in a hurry, and it has been very cold - midwinter cold - for days in a row, with days of rain in between. When we got a thaw this week I discovered that the ground was frozen hard, couldn't dig leeks, couldn't get a fork into the ground, and 3 or 4 days rain and above zero before things got a little bit soft.

I took the rainy days this week to clear up the garden of pots hoses and so on, and I was hoping to get some leaves on the garlic beds then but the wind came up and it was pretty obvious, no leaves were going to be gathered or laid in one place on that day.
Now we are into three days of January type cold weather again, with highs of -5 or -6 C and windchills -15 C. I was even glad to see some snow falling today, and about 2 cm forecast each day for the next three, making a small but important cover over my beds.
So with doubtful access to any mulch materials, I wondered if I could take the tarp which is white one side and black the other, and place it over the bed on top of the snow with the white side up. If that would keep the 5 cm or so of snow from melting it would be better than leaving the garlic with nothing on top through our usual winter of freeze and thaw cycles...
Do you think that might work?

If we had a long thaw I could check to see if there's still snow underneath, but we're not expecting too much in the way of warm weather considering how the winter has started so early.
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Old November 24, 2018   #22
greenthumbomaha
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Bower, if it's any consolation, I only covered half my garlic this year. Its been unseasonably cold and windy, snow is predicted for Sunday. On the asiatics and purple stripe I used leaves that I gathered and shredded (took all day but that is another story) and held them down from the wind with asparagus fern cuttings and flattened tomato cages. I left the porcelains to their own devices, unmuclhed. A little varment already dug a bunch up because I "might" have used a bit of organic fertilizer on the last cloves planted.
I didn't use straw that was available to be out of fear of herbicides and lots of weed seeds.

I can't directly answer your question, but what I am getting at it to me it is better to do nothing than to risk compromising your crop. I don't like the feeling of using a tarp that might keep it a little too wet under there but have no scientific rational to explain this. Someone did this with potatoes and it worked great so I am torn about this method. Hopefully someone can chime in while the option for coverage still exists.

- Lisa

Just curious how large your garlic bed that needs mulch is. Any wood chips available?

Last edited by greenthumbomaha; November 24, 2018 at 02:05 AM.
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Old November 24, 2018   #23
bower
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Hi Lisa,
There would be woodchips galore if I had a chipper/shredder here... but it doesn't make good mulch for us with our short and cool season and our wood loving pests.
Garlic can survive the winters here without mulch, but of course mulch is better.


Our forecast is looking pretty crappy, with highs getting up to 1 C only next week (normals are high of 5C and low -1C, we have been way below normal the past weeks). I doubt the snow cover will melt in a hurry even if it rains. If the wind holds off for a change, I may be able to get some leaves on... on top of the snow.
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Old November 24, 2018   #24
Zeedman
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Where I garden, covering anything with a tarp (or any other solid cover) over winter is risky. Once the tarp is covered by snow, mice will likely nest there over the winter - and dig up anything buried there for food. Some years back, I lost an irreplaceable perennial onion that way; all the bulb tops were eaten.


When I cover garlic at all, I use marsh hay, or hay that I know is mostly weed free. Several farmers in my area grow a timothy & clover hay which I've had good luck with. It rained heavily the day after I put my garlic in, and the ground is still too muddy; so I'll lay the hay down when the ground freezes.
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Old November 24, 2018   #25
bower
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Zeedman, I'm really grateful you mentioned that. I had rats nest under a tarp last summer, and have not checked the garden area I tarped this fall hoping to kill weeds. I don't want that to harbor rodents, even if they help to destroy the unwanted vegetation, but the LAST thing I want is to risk my garlic to winter mice. So tarping instead of mulching is off the table.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
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