Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Copper and Blue Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Preparing to Plant the Garlic--Faux Raised Bed

The seed garlic arrived the other day, so I needed to prepare the garden for planting. Since the garlic is planted in the fall and doesn't get harvested until mid-summer, it takes some careful planning to decide where to plant so that it isn't in the way of the tilling and planting next year. We decided on a long, narrow strip down one side of the garden. Mike tilled it up for me, and it started out looking like this:

Garlic loves a raised bed. That's because garlic likes deep, fertile, moist soil, but it doesn't like standing water. That can be a problem in my garden, which can pond in the spring. To get around that problem, I make a faux raised bed. Here's how the soil looked just after tilling:

Use a rake to pull all the soil from the edges to the middle. Basically, you make a trench around the whole area.

Here is my strip of garden with one side completed. I decided that I needed to till another couple of passes before I did the other side.

After I have the entire area mounded up, I'll work in a bunch of composted chicken manure, rake it out, and be ready to plant. I had to quit for the day after this step, however--turns out that Mike broke the string off of the tiller starter, so I couldn't till the other side. I was being chased by rain clouds, too.

The chickens loved me for my hard work, though.

Once my garden dries out after all that rain and I get my tiller fixed, I'll show you the actual planting process. Garlic can be planted up until the ground freezes hard, so I have a few weeks left. That also means that you still have time to find some garlic to plant if you want to try this. It's not too late! 

Stay dry and warm until next week. And cross your fingers that it dries out a bit for me, too.