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Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow? - Page 32 Toplef10Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow? - Page 32 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow? - Page 32 I22gcj10Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow? - Page 32 14dhcg10

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Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

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Post  OhioGardener 7/8/2020, 9:52 am

bgardner wrote:If I were to plant a cover crop, like beans, legumes, buckwheat, alfalfa, etc., would I plow the plants into the soil after they reach maturity? (and I've harvested whatever goodness from them to eat all fall and winter) I've considered doing this with my garlic area, but don't know if you pull up the plants (and compost them for later) or just plow them under.

I try to do no dig/no till gardening as much as possible in order to maintain the Living Soil Web as much as possible.  So, I prefer to just chop & drop the cover crop, rather than digging it in.  I prefer to use annuals rather than biennial or perennial crops, since they are much easier to kill when done with them.  My favorite summer cover crops are Crimson Clover and Buckwheat. My favorite winter cover crop is Winter Rye (not ryegrass) with Hairy Vetch.

Crimson Clover and Buckwheat are both very fast summer growers (I don't plant them together, but use one or the other).  With both plants if they are cut off at the soil level soon after they bloom, but before they set seed, they will quickly die. The cut off tops will much the soil and decompose, while the roots will slowly decompose and loosen the soil. Both feed the microbes and earthworms.

Winter Rye with Hairy Vetch is an excellent winter cover crop as it starts growing in the fall, and then the tops die back after being frozen. But, the roots continue growing all winter long, and will go down as much a 6' to 8' deep into the soil. In the spring the top will start re-growing, and is a fast grower. If you are able to allow it to grow until they start setting seed, it can be cut off at soil level and the plants will die. If you need the garden space before the rye starts setting seed, it can be turned under and it will die. Either way, the plants will need 2 to 3 weeks to decompose before planting the bed.

With any of the chop & drop cover crops, I plant through the mulch formed by the tops that were cut off. I may add compost to the top of the mulch before planting, depending on what I have available.

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Post  sanderson 12/4/2021, 3:49 pm

Soft neck garlic cloves were planted mid October and they decided to go ahead and grow with the mainly mild winter so far. I didn't have enough large cloves to complete all the squares. Normally I would plant 9/sq but I planted according to the drip system lines so some squares have only 6/sq.
Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow? - Page 32 Garlic19

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Post  Scorpio Rising 12/4/2021, 4:23 pm

Nice!  When I planted mine, there was a cold snap, so hope I get some!
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Post  sanderson 12/4/2021, 7:05 pm

Had they sprouted when you got the cold snap? Are you going to mulch them?

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