I am trying my hand at growing garlic this year. I have read multiple articles online about growing garlic, and here’s what I learned and used when planting my own. In warmer climates, softneck garlic seems to do better, so I bought my bulbs from a small farm in KY through ebay. Everything I read said that fall is the best time to plant garlic, so I put mine in the ground this past weekend. It needs full sun, so I put it above my blueberry plants, which also require full sun. I broke the bulbs apart and only planted the largest cloves – the smaller ones were saved for use in the kitchen. I dug out an area about six feet wide and a few inches deep. I mixed organic garden soil, cow manure and a little bone meal to fill in the area before poking holes and setting the cloves in pointy end up. If this works out and they all produce bulbs, I should have about 40 bulbs of garlic next summer – all from 6 original bulbs! We don’t use a ton of garlic, so I am not just doing this as a cost savings. I like the thought of it being local (as in my own backyard) versus from China, from where evidently most of the garlic in the grocery store comes. I also just thought it would be fun and all of the articles online make it seem super simple to grow.
In addition to getting my garlic in the ground, I got a few more things moved around in the yard over the weekend. I bought the last two dwarf firepower Nandinas that I needed for the front shrub bed. I planted them as well as moving three others around to get the exact layout I wanted. I had to move the last two dwarf Japanese Barberries to the hill in the backyard to make room for the Nandinas. They are now staggered next to the first three I moved to keep the numbers odd for aesthetics.
I pulled up all of the irises that were in front of the Azaleas in the front since they did not bloom this year. I am going to relocate them to the hill also. In their place, I moved some daylilies from the courtyard where they were in full shade – I think they will like having more sun in the front yard.
In the courtyard, I moved the roots from the hosta in the far corner and added a new Bergenia in where the daylilies were removed. I then moved one of the Gardenia bushes from under the living room window to the far end of the courtyard bed next to the fence to hide an ugly meter on the side of the house.
Finally, I put some new pine straw out on the hill. The garlic needs a thick layer of mulch and the rest of the pine straw on the hill was broken down and sparse, so it needed a fresh coat.