The raised beds on Plot 11w are taking some time to completely fill up, I’m getting there slowly, just concentrating on one bed at a time. Homemade compost has been set aside to mulch the larger beds on Plot 5 as I clear them, so I’m having to buy in compost to top the raised beds up. Next year I should have access to free homemade compost/mulch from the pallet bins.
Yesterday I planted 60 garlic cloves from bulbs harvested in summer, into one of the raised beds. I like to set the cloves out before planting, once satisfied with spacing (approximately 6 inches apart) I plant each one into the soil around 1 – 2 inches deep, pointy end facing up. The green shoots should appear in January, something to look forward to in what can be a long and dreary month.
My favourite garlic to grow is Red Duke, a hard neck variety with a hot spicy flavour. This variety has not let me down so far, even when covered in leek rust. Being a hard neck variety, Red Duke produces a curly flower stalk carried high above the leaves in summer which is known as a scape, snap them off to help the development of the bulbs but don’t just throw them on the compost heap! They’re edible and have a lovely pungent garlic flavour.
I always feel like I’m on top of autumn jobs when the garlic goes in, does anyone else feel like that? There’s still a bit of clearing and mulching to do on Plot 5 but an enjoyable amount of work for a sunny dry day.
Before I left for home I pulled up a sprout tree (it was already on the floor thanks to the August storms) and a big celeriac to go with our Sunday dinner. Believe it or not the sprouts are meant to be a short variety growing to only 2ft, I think I’m feeding them too well!
It’s so satisfying preparing the veg for our Sunday dinner knowing it came from the allotment and garden, carrots, parsnip, stored potatoes, sprouts and celeriac. All utterly delicious.