The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Growing a little more garlic

Garlic harvest

Dried garlicI think we've finally got our garlic planting amount figured out.  We used 20 pounds of garlic in 2010, so when our 2011 crop came in over quota, I gave the excess away.  Sure enough, when the time came to clean and bag this year's garlic, we were down to the last handful of the previous year's bulbs in the kitchen --- perfect!

Of course, our garlic continues to adapt to our climate, so despite cutting back the number of beds planted last fall (to twelve), I still ended up with 29.5 pounds of garlic.  About half of that amount has sprouted and won't last too long, but since I use a lot of our annual garlic supply during the summer months (in soups, Hollywood sun-dried tomatoes, pizza sauces, etc.), I suspect the sprouted garlic will get eaten up before it goes bad.

Bagged garlic

Even though I really should cut back our planting this fall to take into account the extra productivity from our acclimatized bulbs, I think I'm going to stick to the same number of garden beds as last year.  It's nice to have a bit extra to give away, and Huckleberry seems to have developed a taste for the crop....

Our chicken waterer keeps the coop dry and the hens happy.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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You say you had 12 beds of garlic planted in the fall. May I ask how big the beds are? I realize my own garden won't produce the same lbs/sqft, but I like having a rough estimate. :)

Cheers, J

Comment by JasonM Wed Jul 4 06:38:11 2012

Jason --- Our average bed is roughly 20 square feet. So, 12 beds would be about 240 square feet, and our yield was about an eighth of a pound per square foot.

What's great about growing garlic is that it really takes up no space. You plant it in the fall after you pull out something like bush beans, and you harvest the garlic in the spring in time to plant something like sweet potatoes. Since few other plants grow during that period, you can fit garlic into nearly any vegetable garden!

Comment by anna Wed Jul 4 07:00:20 2012

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