Organic Gardening Tips and Plants – How to

Organic
Gardening Tips

Terra Viva Organics

The fall is the perfect
time to plant garlic in your garden. Compared to spring-planted
garlic, fall garlic produces larger bulbs, matures earlier,
and often has fewer disease problems. Additionally,
certain types of garlic, mainly the hard-neck types
like Rocambole, will not mature in time from a spring
planting.

Of the three
types of garlic, soft-neck garlic is the type most often
found in supermarkets. It stores for a number of months
and can be braided into attractive hangings. Alternatively,
hard-neck types store for a much shorter time but have
a much more pungent flavour. Elephant garlic, a member
of the leek family, is an extremely mild-flavoured garlic.
The individual cloves can often be 2 inches wide and
are great for roasting. In areas where summers are cool
and damp, elephant garlic is an excellent choice.

  • Just
    before planting, separate each of the cloves from
    the main bulb, keeping the skin on.

  • Sprinkle
    a high phosphorus fertilizer like Flower
    Power down the row.

  • Plant
    the cloves 2 inches deep, pointy-side up, 4 inches
    apart.

  • Elephant
    garlic should be planted 10 inches apart to ensure
    that the plants have enough room.

In the springtime, when the green tips
start to emerge, garlic should be side-dressed with fertilizer
again. Place the fertilizer 2 inches away from the row
and lightly scratch it into the soil. During the growing
season, keep garlic evenly watered. If this is not possible,
keep a mulch on the soil around the plants to help conserve
water in between waterings.

The hard-neck
types of garlic usually send up flowering heads. Although
beautiful, these heads should be removed as they drain
energy from the bulbs. The heads can be added to stir-fries
for a mild garlic taste. For more information on recipes
and using garlic, try the Garlic
Page
.

When the
tops turn yellow, stop watering and allow the bulbs
to cure in the soil for 2 weeks. Harvest the garlic
by pulling the whole plant out of the soil, tying the
leaves together, and then place the bulbs on a rack
in a warm, dry spot. Soft-neck garlic can be braided
and hung for long-term storage. The hard-neck types
must be used within 1 or 2 months.

Make sure
you keep some bulbs aside for replanting! Are you a
garlic lover? See what Mostly
Garlic Magazine has to offer.


Easy
tricks to keep your garden producing

Gardens need not stop producing food
once cold weather comes. Many vegetables are suited to
growing in cooler temperatures and can withstand frosts.
The key to a successful fall/winter garden lies in the
planning.

  • Choose
    the right variety
    . Certain varieties of vegetables
    have more frost tolerance than others. This is indicated
    in the seed catalogues or on the tags in the nursery
    containers. For example, not all types of lettuce
    can be grown in the fall but Winter Density Romaine
    can withstand light frosts.

  • Make
    sure the soil is well drained
    . Standing water,
    not frost is a big problem for fall vegetables. Grow
    on raised beds or, if there is no option, in containers.

  • Use
    protective covers
    . Floating row covers, often
    marketed as Reemay or Agrofabric can be draped over
    plants to provide 1 to 2 degrees of frost protection.

  • Use
    a cold-frame or cloche
    . In very cold winter areas,
    vegetables can still be grown in a cold frame or under
    a plastic cloche.

  • Use
    a mulch
    . If floating covers or cloches cannot
    be used with your plants, a deep mulch of straw is
    an excellent insulator.

For more information about season extension,
try The
Appropriate Technology Page
.


Free Garden Catalog