To get ready for planting we started by "popping" the cloves. Taking the bulbs and separating all the cloves to plant individually.
|Bags filled with garlic cloves.|
|Cart with garlic, shallots, map and tools.|
|The dibbler helps us ensure good spacing, more efficiently.|
|Marking spacing with the dibbler.|
|Garlic laid out for planting.|
|Dutch Yellow Shallots ready to plant.|
The last step in the process is to cover with a thick layer of mulch. Mulch provides protection from the elements over winter, and helps to suppress weeds. The pigs helped us with the mulching! Using bales from their pen we are able to add a little fertilizer--perfect since it sits out, breaking down all winter and spring (the minimum requirement is 120 days, and it will be about 240). Also, in anticipation of garlic planting, we threw several bales in there over the last week for them to forage through and clean out the small-grain and weed seeds. We purchased some really seedy straw last spring, hopefully this will reduce the amount of barley growing in the garlic bed, plus we got to nurture the pigs foraging instincts!