today i started to get the garlic for next
summer harvest planted. i may be a little
early, but i'm hoping it won't make that
based upon results from this last garlic
season i selected out 200 large cloves and
most will be planted in similar soil to what
i had the best results.
no clay no more. the quality was ok, the
size was somewhat smaller (the largest bulbs
were about 3/4 the size if the non-clay
plantings), but the work to get them out of
the ground is too much and depends upon the
weather more than i'd like. we were stuck
on garlic harvesting for a few days until some
rain came along. i'd tried to harvest without
the rain but after a few clumps it was not
something i'd have been able to keep doing
without a jackhammer or some other major
source of ground breaking. which would have
destroyed the patch it was planted in.
also in the clay the garlic had either
birdsfoot trefoil or alfalfa as a cover. i
think the net result was a wash. the less
sunlight and competition for water was
probably offet by there being more nitrogen
in the soil. i could not tell exactly for
sure as i didn't weigh or measure nor could
i really control for moisture. so while the
garlic grown in the clay with the cover crops
would be sustainable, it would take some
kind of reworking to get more organic material
on a regular basis down deep enough in the
clay so that you could get the bulbs harvested
without resorting to dynomite, pick axes or
waiting for rain to soften up the ground a bit.
in contrast the clay in the sandy loam were
mostly harvested by tugging them out of the
ground with one hand. only a few needed much
more than that and it was done all with a small
hand trowel (instead of stomping on a shovel
with both feet after hopping up into the air
and that was only going about 1" into the clay
when it was dry).
guess where those 200 cloves are going? :)
i'm about halfway done planting the garlic and
then when the garlic is in i'll put peas/peapods
over them as a cover crop for the fall/winter.
before planting i weighed the cloves i planted so
that i can get a resulting weight difference.
about 2lbs of garlic. unfortunately i have yet
to find a scale for more accurate weighing...
the fun continues. ;)