Cloves Planted and Harvest In

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The focus this week was not on the harvest, but preparing for next year.  A few days of warm weather allowed me to get my hands dirty and play in the garden.  I was able to clean all the beds out.  I turned a bed over to flip the soil over and loosen up the compacted soil. Some grass and weeds have grown in and around the rock borders so I spent some time pulling grass. Thankfully grass is a good nitrogen source for the compost bin so it is a win-win.

Last year was the first year I tried planting garlic.  There were a few set backs which made it tough to evaluate how everything went.  The most significant set back was having to move more than half of my crop.  I was able to plant about 45 cloves this past week.  All from cloves came from last year’s crop.

The garlic cloves ready to be planted

I pulled out my handy Johnny’s Selected Seed’s garlic growing guide, and planted may cloves six inches apart in rows that are about 12 to 16 inches apart.  I was able to plant four rows.

The rows all set out. I then planted each clove about two inches down.

Typically, I do not follow the planting rules.  Several times this week I either heard or read “less can be more” when it comes to production.  So I decided to pull out the measuring tape  and make sure I did it right. Maybe it was over-kill, but it helped me not take short cuts.

We had two or three overnight frosts.  I was excited to have the frosts to sweeten up the carrots.  I pulled all of them.  One or two were bad, they were black or soft in the middle. A few looked like witch fingers, but still good enough to eat. The rest looked very good.

This was the carrot harvest.

Carrots from the garden are the best, grocery store carrots can not compare.

The herb garden has been neglected most of the fall.  I pulled out all the annual herbs.  I trimmed all of the perennial herbs.  The mints I trimmed down to the ground, I figure they are aggressive enough to recover.  Some of the more tender and young herbs I trimmed close, but left good leaves to take advantage of the sun over the next few weeks.  Thyme and oregano, and winter savory received this special treatment.  Only one rosemary plant made it through the summer.  I did not trim it thinking it needs all the leaves it can get to make food and store nutrients for the winter.

I decided to dry the “good” herbs I pulled.  One group I put into brown paper bags to dry.  The second group I tied together and hung in the basement.  I am not confident they will be good. They may have turned bitter this late in the season or because of the frost.  So call it an experiment.

My herb experiment in the basement.

I will let you know how it turns out.

The poll is still up for my new ending tag line. I look forward to your feedback.

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

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