In my school of minimalist gardening, garlic fits right in. Growing in zone 6a/b, once planted they germinate in about 2-3 weeks and pretty much fend for themselves after that. And the harvest is pretty much foolproof too; plant in October, harvest next July. Then there’s the taste, oh the taste! No store bought garlic can compare. Farmer’s market bought will come close but there’s something about that clove of garlic you put in the ground and the delicious bulb you get in return. Something about the love, care, attention and admiration you give to it that in return gives it that extra flavor, that extra bite, that extra dose of ba-zing! Grow it, you’ll see.

In addition to the rhubarb and perennial herbs that have already resurfaced, these garlic planted last Fall are what’s currently sustaining the presence of life in five of the raised beds. There’s a combination of  Music, Moroccan Creole, Korean Garak and Russian Giant varieties intentionally growing at their leisure, possibly making the garden somewhat of a mini united garlic nation if you would. And their layout was no coincidence either. The bulbs were strategically placed to be companion planted with brassicas in an attempt to help deter those pesky cabbage moths from laying their eggs on my produce.

For now I’ll be starting with some kale, radishes and collard greens. But before I can get them into the ground which has been beaten down and compacted by both rain and snow alike, a little aeration and amending are in order. To achieve this, I first tackle the mess of weeds and fallen leaves presently inhabiting the beds.

Then, using a garden fork I simply work my way around the shoots, being careful to not come within 3 inches all around so as not to disturb or damage their roots. If using, this is also the perfect time to work your manure in as well.

See me in action here!

Once all that’s done, I polish the look by giving a light raking of the soil to even things out.

The other mess you see will soon be taken cared of as well but atleast my beds are now ready to welcome their new seedlings and I am now ready for a welcoming shower. See you soon!