It's A Wrap!
This week is our last post for the growing season of 2020! We hope you have enjoyed the journey, as we have, and you have been inspired to explore some new things in the veggie plot. We will have all of this season's blog posts available on our website so at any point if you want to go back and refer to something we talked about it will be there.
In this week's post we will be getting prepared to plant garlic and shallots (but not planting yet!) and looking ahead to next year with a soil test. We'll be learning about the amazing Nanking cherry, how important leaves can be as a resource and how they support our wildlife, and the three ways you can eat nasturtiums.
Planting Garlic and Shallots
As the cool weather sets in lots of people start to think about planting their bulbs. We plant lots of garlic but have recently discovered shallots too. They are pretty easy to grow and we plant them in the fall with our garlic, making one less thing to do in the spring.
One of the most common mistakes when planting garlic or shallots is to plant it too early.
On Cape Cod, we recommend waiting until at least Halloween to plant. Our temperatures tend to stay a bit warmer in the fall than locations inland, and warm temperatures encourage top shoot growth, which we don't want until next spring. Your goal is for each clove to establish its root system, but energy put into top shoot now is just wasted, and may potentially dry out your clove and kill it when the cold, dry winter sets in.
Another common mistake is to not supply the plant with enough fertility. These alliums are heavy feeders but you should limit the nitrogen or you will get a lot of vegetative growth and less bulb.
When prepping your soil for planting garlic and shallots add these amendments:
Organic fertilizer (slow-release, full-spectrum)
Lime - if you need to adjust your pH (consult your soil test as discussed below!)
Here is the Planting Process for Garlic and Shallots