|Garlic cloves ready for planting.|
This is my third year planting garlic in Square Foot Gardens (SFG) and I have found that a 4x4 garden is the perfect size for the amount of garlic we use throughout the year. Once planted, garlic is pretty trouble free. I give it a little organic fertilizer at planting time and a little more part way through around the time the garlic scapes begin to emerge.
|Garlic bed July 2011|
There isn't much left to my Mel's Mix in my SFGs. Over the years the soil breaks down and is amended with fresh compost. I like SFGs because the raised beds warm quicker in the spring, water drains really well, and the grid system makes it very easy to plan.
I have also found that the beds tend to dry out more quickly than the rest of the garden, the plants roots usually don't stretch beyond the box, and nutrients become depleted quickly and must be replenished more often.
I decided to double dig this bed to loosen the soil beneath the bed to make it easier for roots to penetrate. I also wanted to incorporate some of the native soil from underneath.
|Double digging the SFG|
I added a generous amount of compost, mixed it all together, and leveled it off. Then I sprinkled some organic fertilizer over the top and worked in it to the top few inches with a rake.
The garlic was planted 6-inches apart and 4 inches deep, then covered with a generous layer of hay. I usually use shredded leaves, but haven't raked any yet this year. It was very windy; so I had to anchor the hay down to keep it in place.
|Mulched with hay|
|Covered with snow from October storm|