Growing Garlic

Garlic from our 2015 harvest

Garlic from our 2015 harvest

We’re growing garlic again! You can plant garlic in the spring, but I do it in the Fall. Overwintering like this gives the garlic a head start and makes for a higher yield. Here’s how I do it:

  • Plant during the first week of August
  • Separate the cloves and plant them root side down (pointy side up)
  • Plant the cloves 1 foot apart with 1” of soil above the tip
  • You should see green shoots in the fall
  • If winter lows get below 20°F, mulch the shoots to protect them from the cold
  • Fertilize in the spring when you notice that they are growing (I like Osmocote Plus)
  • Re-apply fertilizer as necessary (read the label)
  • Water regularly during the early summer
  • Stop watering when the leaves start to die
  • Harvest from dry soil when about half the leaves have died (but some are still green)

Notes:

Some people plant closer together or deeper. I have sometimes planted the cloves so that there is no soil above the pointy end (because I wanted to see the green shoot as soon as possible). So you can adapt this method to your own situation.

I grow hardneck garlic. I like them better than softneck because they have fewer, larger cloves that are easier to peel. They also have a good strong flavor that I like. Hardnecks are better adapted to the cold than softnecks, but softnecks keep longer.

Throwback Thursday – Homemade Window Cleaner

Today I was thinking about this recipe for Homemade Window Cleaner I posted in 2009. Why was I thinking about window cleaner?  The first reason is fairly practical.  My windows really, really need cleaning.  I’ve got that on my list of things to do for today.

But secondly, I love the photo that goes with the article.  It’s of our yard in Bellevue.

View from the Window

The photo shows our fruit trees in pots.  You can see the raised bed garden areas and the pots of herbs.  To me it looks busy, homey and wonderful.

I’m really, really happy at our new house but the yard looks pretty scruffy right now.  There are a million things to do and it seems that for every item we cross off our list there are two more added.  But I remember feeling that way in Bellevue too.  So I’m going to clean the windows today.  And sometime in the future I know I’ll look out of those windows and see a place that looks busy, homey and wonderful.

Green Pepper Sunscald

We noticed a problem with the green peppers over the weekend.  Many of the peppers in the greenhouse have discolorations on the side facing the sun.

sunscald

We think it’s sunscald.  The affected area isn’t mushy or black like blossom end rot.  Instead the wall of the pepper is abnormally thin where the discoloration occurs.

We’ve moved the pepper plants in pots away from the wall of the greenhouse. Hopefully that will help.

We do have a greenhouse cover that we’d like to get put on the greenhouse roof.  The problem is that we’re not sure how to get it up there.  The greenhouse is attached to the RV garage.  We’ve got a few ideas, but not a solid plan as of yet.

Newspapers

Maybe we’re old fashioned, but the Man of the House and I still like reading newspapers. We read them online, but we also like reading newspapers that we can hold in our hands. When we started our lives together we lived in Bellevue so we read The Seattle Times.

Then we moved to Port Townsend.  There we got the weekly Port Townsend newspaper, The Leader as well as the Peninsula Daily News from nearby Port Angeles.  The Peninsula Daily News is a funny sort of newspaper.  It’s not actually published daily.  Three’s no paper on Saturday.  Also when we had our subscription the writers were very fond of puns.  I hate puns!  One day I remember there were two puns in the headlines on the front page.

Now that we’ve moved north of Seattle we’re getting the local weekly newspaper and the Sunday Everett Herald.  The Herald is a funny sort of paper as well. The newspaper to ad ratio on the Sunday paper is really out of wack.  There are twice as many inserts and ads as there is newspaper.  And the newspaper content is not that compelling.  I read a lot and have many interests, but I can get through a Sunday Everett Herald in about ten minutes.

And so guess what newspaper we’ve just subscribed to?  We’re going to start getting the Sunday Seattle Times again.  News