welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

garden news-how i plant garlic


i have grown garlic for about 20 years
in texas i usually had a good crop
i planted them in the late fall or early winter
harvested them in the late spring usually around late may or early june

i then took the bulbs and let them dry 
i usually also braided them and hung them from our barn or garage
cutting off what we needed

at the country n we would have around a 100 in those braids
they would last almost a year before we used them all up

now here in santa barbara its been a struggle to grow garlic in our garden
in april may june when the garlic needs to be drying out
we get this marine layer that wreck havoc on the garlic
they get fungal diseases and can rot

last year we had a good harvest but there was so much marine layer that they eventually 
mostly all rotted since they could not dry out or cure

if we have less marine layer during those 3 months the garlic do ok
my first year i had a good crop that stored well in our garage
ive not had a good crop since

the last two years i didnt store what garlic i got
i just peeled them and then chopped them up in the blender and stored them in ziplock bags in the freezer
we broke off what garlic we needed for soups stews and cooking

here in this area everywhere is a microclimate
a mile away towards the mountains may be drier and they do better
we tend to fight the marine layer at the garden
its worse closer to the beach which is about 2 miles away
this also affects our onions and tomatoes and squash

this year ive decided to do a small planting of about 20 garlics to see how i do this year

how you plant them is the same no matter where you live
when you plant them is different

the most important is the soil
i add a layer of 3-4 inches of compost plus a sprinkling of organic fertilizer per the bags recommendation
i then fork this in well then rake the bed out smooth
my beds are 3ft x 7ft
i plant my garlic 6 inches apart 
the bed looks like this with five lines of garlic
. . . . . . . 
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
some folks do just a long row and do rows about 18 inches apart
ive always done mine in raised beds like above

i buy my garlic from a local nursery 
its a garlic that grows well around here
its a soft neck garlic 
you can use garlic from the grocery store but if you do try to use organic garlic since on some veggies that are not organic they spray stuff to keep it from spouting

i break the garlic bulbs apart like in the picture above
i plant these cloves pointed end up about 1.5 inches deep
i try to use the largest cloves
i then cover them and water them in well with a fish emulsion seaweed molasses mixture

i put mine on a dripper system thats watered every 3 days for about 30 minutes
this will vary based on how much rain we get

when the garlic green stalks turn brown they are ready to harvest
be sure and stop irrigating them a month before you harvest
i usually pull them and leave them out in the sun to dry for 2-3 weeks

i will braid them in braids like in the video below

here if its been a heavy foggy spring
i will lose a lot of garlic to rotting

im hoping for a good garlic crop this year
hoping the weather will cooperate

i know in texas if we had a dry june the harvest and curing would go well
not so here
as ive found each year is different

try garlic where you live
talk to farmers market folks or local nursery folks or friend who grows garlic

ive chosen not to plant a large crop in the community gardens since we didnt get a good harvest the last two years that didnt cure well

tis the life of a gardener
you are at the mercy of the weather and climate

the organicgreen doctor

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