Sunday, 25 November 2012

Fall Garden Update

My goodness did time fly this autumn. I planned on journaling about my first attempt at planting garlic and my fall garden clean up much earlier than this, but life seemed to get in the way. My teaching job, my own children, my extended family, all kept me busy. Today I went out to mulch and harvest the last of my Brussels sprouts and I realized that December is almost upon us. I suppose my husband putting up the Christmas lights and decorating the front yard for the coming holiday season was a bit of a wake up call for me.
Beautiful, pungent garlic cloves separated and ready to be planted.

In late October I finally decided to plant my garlic. I fell in love with garlic scapes this summer via the Richmond Sharing Farm CSA (link) pick up and I knew I wanted to grow my own garlic. I planted some of my left over Sharing Farm garlic (one row) but the rest I bought at West Coast Seeds because I wanted to be sure that I was planting hard neck garlic to get scapes in the early summer. I chose the Russian red garlic (link).

Delicious scapes from the Sharing Farm CSA

My youngest daughter was such a distraction taking all my cloves helper in the garden. I don't know what I would do without her! I finally gave her a bucket of dirt, a toy shovel and pretend seeds so I could finish what I needed to before having to pick up my other two kids at school.
I planted tulip and daffodil bulbs the same day.

If I remember correctly I planted approximately thirty cloves in one of my two raised beds. I have been over-zealous in the past with spacing of my seedlings, so I hope I erred on the conservative side of spacing this time.

Finally today I remembered to get out and mulch the garlic bed. We bought two hay bales for our October display in the front yard and I had every intention of bringing those bales around to the backyard to mulch my garlic. However, much in the same way I am a lazy crafter, I am also a lazy gardener and those hay bales still remain in my front yard. My husband knows me well and suggested that the hay become part of our Christmas display and feed our illuminated reindeer. What a smart fellow. Then I realized that I have a lawn covered in leaves and I did two jobs in one by raking the leaves for my garlic mulch. Problem solved. I supposed I should have chopped the leaves up, but remember, I'm lazy. I may have to go back and redo this if we have another big wind storm, but as you can see from the photo, I have no shortage of leaves. By then I may have no more excuses for leaving my hay in the front yard and can use that to mulch.
Do you think the "leaves as mulch" idea was a good one?

My other raised bed has some kale from the summer that is probably about four to five feet high now and still hasn't bolted (I was waiting to collect the seeds). So looks like we will be having some kale chips soon. I also found a rogue beet and chard plant that I was unaware were growing. What a nice surprise. I harvested the last of my Brussels sprouts today because I am taking some into my class at school tomorrow. I found out that most of my students have never heard of or tried Brussels sprouts so I am going to take the stalk in and steam them for all to try (along with some beets to steam and kale to make into kale chips).
The poor Brussels sprouts are a little worse 
for wear after an aphid infestation, but still delicious.

So now the garden is all ready for its long winter sleep.

My next step, researching and planning my summer garden and begin learning about winter gardening for next year!

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