Time To Plant Garlic!

Even though this month is busy with harvest there’s a lot to be done to get ready for winter.

First on my priority list is to get my garlic in.  Pick a spot with loose, rich soil or as close as you can find.  Use the biggest, best cloves you have for seed and in return they’ll give you the biggest, best heads of garlic next summer.  Planting small cloves makes small heads.

I know it can be tough to take your best heads and break them up and bury them, but trust me, you’ll see the difference.  Also, only use the big cloves from each head, discard any small cloves you come across.  Plant them about 6-8″ apart with rows 8″-12″ apart.  You can fit a LOT of garlic in a small space.  Just put the cloves an inch or so deep, root side down, pointy end up.

Normally I don’t mulch over the winter but even slugs don’t eat garlic and its a lot easier to mulch if you do it before the plants come up.  Speaking of which, it may be a while before you see anything happening but the plants are forming large root systems before the top comes out of the ground.

They’ll grow slowly all winter and when the weather warms up they’ll take off, which is a good time to give them a little extra nitrogen, such as chicken compost.

Early Canada Melon – Strain Report

I was finally able to obtain some seeds for this melon thanks to the kindness of Tatiana, who I’m sure many of you know (I’m being discrete for a reason).  I had heard a lot of good things about it, which growing it proved to be accurate.

Early Canada Melon

Early Canada Melon

 

I only had a few plants of it, but they produced several very uniform melons around 8-10 pounds, light green with some fine striping.  The flesh is red, and the quality was probably the highest of any of the melons I grew this year.  First, the texture was great.  Nice and firm, solid flesh with none of the stringiness or soft spots around the seeds many melons have.  Second, the taste was great, at least equal to my favorites.  Finally, there were relatively few seeds in the melons.  Here in the Willamette Valley the plants went in about the middle of May and the first melons were harvested the third week of August.

 

Early Canada melon

Early Canada melon sliced

 

 

The only negative I could find was that it didn’t produce more than one melon per vine, but given the size of the melons and the small vines that’s understandable.  If I could only grow three melons this would be one of them.  The other two will be in upcoming posts.