We haven’t checked in with the garden around here for awhile so I thought I would give you all an update. Today it was in the mid 60s and that seems to be the end of the nice weather. Some gargantuan storm is coming in from Alaska and tomorrow starts the ‘I must wear socks and a coat weather.’ I am very unhappy at the prospect of 26 degrees this weekend. Last weekend I was in flip flops for Lincoln’s birthday party but then again I try to wear flip flops at all time unless there is a chance of frostbite.
(By the way, can you believe Lincoln is 1 year old??? He is literally running around this house. It’s crazy.)
Because the weather is about to get cold I made sure to get out in the garden yesterday afternoon. It’s a much more enjoyable experience when you aren’t shivering. Opie loves having me to himself and laying in the sun. He sat right next to me the whole time with this peaceful look on his face.
My main objective was to get the garlic and shallots planted. I again ordered mine from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. This time we figured we would try a different variety for fun. I picked the Music type and the description said it had large cloves and was easy to peel. These were both perks since we pulled our garlic a bit early this summer and the cloves were small and a big pain to peel. To plant garlic, you break apart the head of garlic (just like you get at the grocery store) and plant each clove which will then give you a whole head next year.
When they said large cloves they meant it. Seriously, that’s one clove and no it’s not elephant garlic!
The clove gets planted with the pointy side on the right up. The flat part on the left are where the roots form. You want to choose the biggest cloves to plant and then use the smaller ones for your dinner. I had about 40 of these big ones. It’s going to be a good June 2015! As always I choose to plant hardneck garlic which will produce a flower stem in the spring called a scape. The scape crazy delicious and a one a year treat that makes incredible pesto. (The other kind of garlic is the softneck type which is what you see in the grocery store. It doesn’t have the scape but it does last longer in storage.)
Crop rotation is important even in a small garden like mine. Moving the crops to different locations each year prevents the diseases and pests to settle in and ruin everything. I do the best I can since there are only so many ways to rearrange every thing while still keeping the plants that don’t like each other separated. This year I really have no choice but to plant in exactly the same place as last year. My other garden is full of carrots, peas and beans right now. It might help if I wasn’t planting half my garden with shallots and garlic!
There are some peas on the left side and a few carrots in the back to work around but they will be gone by the time everything gets going in the spring. From the left brown bag to the left are the shallots. I may have put too many in but I think I will be ok. From the left bag to the right is all garlic. Yes about 5 feet x 3 1/2 feet of garlic plants. And none will go to waste.
Here is a better shot of the peas. They are so happy right now they are growing to the point where there is nothing to grab onto and they don’t care. It’s very hippy like the way they sway in the wind. Tons of flowers and small pods. Not sure what will happen when the weather turns but hopefully all isn’t lost.
The other garden is still full which is kind of funny for the middle of November. From the left we have peas, carrots, green beans and a bunch of 3 foot high basil. For those of you who read the tutorial on how to build this cucumber frame from May 2012, you can see it has held up wonderfully. The wood and rope are a bit weathered but otherwise in great shape. It is sturdy, inexpensive and has stood up really well to heavy plants while giving us a lot more growing room in our garden.
In the flower garden that became the tomato garden, I finally pulled out the tomatoes and tomatillos. I had left them since they seemed happy and were still growing. In fact look at the flowers on the tomato plant. I mean seriously that is the definition of optimism to grow flowers right now. There were a bunch of green tomatoes still left on the vine which I picked. I put them into a paper bag, giving them some room and they will ripen in dark corner of my kitchen.
A few of the tomatillos finally got big enough to split their husks. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with them but at the very least they look cool.
Now is the season of clean up with leaves and dead flowers. It may be a bit sad to put the garden to bed for the winter but seed starting is only a few months away!!