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For most growers, things start to wind down in the fall. It's harvest season and soil gets prepared for the long winter. But there is still one high value crop yet to be planted...garlic! For a lot of outdoor growers, garlic is the last thing planted in the fall and the first thing sprouting in the spring. Cindy from Keene Garlic visited Steve's backyard garden and the two discussed Pro Tips for growing garlic and other high value crops.
When setting a bed up for success in the spring, the first product to use is Purple Cow Organics Tomato Gro. Even though it says "tomato" this enhanced compost-based soil amendment is great for all vegetables and especially great for garlic. A one inch layer across the whole bed is ideal, but rows on top of the soil or a handful with each planting will also work if budget is a concern. If you grow in pots or containers, our All-Purpose Veggie Mix, contains our compost and a bit of added fertility as well.
Keene Garlic Pro Tip for starting garlic: Cindy has found that soaking their cloves in water, Purple Cow CX-1 and BioActive Vegetable Supercharger for anywhere from six hours to four days, has kick-started phenomenal root development before the cloves are even planted in the soil!
The CX-1 and Veggie Supercharger will get your plants into a Carbon/Biological Cycle. This means the biology in CX-1 and carbon in Veggie Supercharger will liberate the minerals in your soil making them readily available for plant uptake. When the plant has access to all of the nutrients and minerals in the soil and microbes are present to help break everything down, that's when you'll have healthy thriving plants.
With or without the soak, once you are ready to plant your cloves, dig a small hole and add a handful of an amendment like Tomato Gro or Activated Compost. Place the clove one to two inches deep with the root side down, and cover it back up. That's it! It will over-winter and come up nice and early in the spring. A few weeks after the spring sprouting, your young garlic plants will start to grow curly tops called, "scapes." You will want to cut the scapes for two reasons: it will prevent the plant from going into another reproductive phase, and you will grow a much larger bulb. Scapes are also quite tasty to eat! They can be eaten as a garlic chive or you can use them to make a pesto.
During the season, once the garlic starts to grow, you'll want to be sure to provide plenty of fertility for the young hungry plants. There are a number of options available here, the first is to apply our BioActive All-Purpose Fertilizer as directed, or, Pro Tip: cut the application in half and apply twice as often (micro dosing). All-Purpose Fertilizer is a low octane, low sodium, mild fertilizer that can be applied directly to the plants with no risk of burning. Some professional growers will mix with compost and side dress to apply minerals, carbon, and biology all at the same time. If you are not looking to add bulk material, a fantastic replacement is the same fertility combination of CX-1 and Veggie Supercharger that Keene Garlic uses to soak their cloves! Again, this will get those minerals into a Carbon/Biological Cycle, producing strong, healthy plants.
For more information on any of the info above or to place an order with us, please call 608-831-0349 or send us a message through the Contact tab at the top of the page.