Yes, you've all heard me lamenting the fact that I hadn't gotten my garlic into the ground as early as I wanted, but this weekend I braved the cold temperatures and cleaned out one of the beds, added compost and planted 36 garlic cloves. I dutifully covered two of my beds (the other one is harboring cabbage and turnips that need some help) under floating row covers. So, hopefully that will help protect the garlic and keep it from getting too water-logged and rotting out.
I did some research the other night and found out that, here in the Pacific Northwest, we can plant garlic from between October to January. I'm still a little dubious on the later time frame, but I guess only time will tell.
Two years ago I got a late start and planted a few cloves in the early spring. Well, let me tell you, that didn't work out so well. If I had done my research I would have learned that garlic planted in the spring here usually ends up growing not a head of garlic, but one huge clove. We still ate them, but they weren't really worth the trouble.
Last year, in the midst of tons of hospital action I went out and planted about 5 grocery store cloves of garlic during a much needed act of gardening therapy. Only 4 of them actually produced something (one was puny), but let me tell you, I was totally sold on the experience. It was dumb-ass easy and totally worth the little effort. I had visions of planting a whole bed full of garlic this year but, alas, never got around to it.
I figure that I had about an 80% success rate last year, so maybe I'll have something more like 60% given the late start and the crappy weather (my newly planted garlic is now sitting under a few inches of snow that started falling last night). That's about 28 heads of garlic. I'm not about to start expecting that amount, but it will be fun to see what happens. If it's a total failure, well, at least I'll have the bed cleared up for something else.
Anyway, after reading all this great literature on growing garlic from the county extension offices in our state, I started daydreaming about starting a garlic farm in Eastern Washington. Then I realized how damn cold it gets over there during the winter and quickly decided that maybe just turning my backyard into "Crunchy's Garlic Nirvana" is about as good as it's going to get for now.
For those of you just dying to know what's going on with the rest of my lamentations, I didn't move quickly enough on the pumpkins after the freeze and all 5 of them turned into thinly veiled squishy sacks of liquid pumpkin snot. It became readily obvious since they were starting to turn black. So, they went into the yard waste bin (I still need to get that compost thing rolling).
My grape vines are still dormant and probably will stay that way and out of the ground until spring. I just need to make sure they stay watered. Should I bring them inside or leave them outside?
And, finally, I brought my sorry, sad little Meyer lemon tree inside the other day. My mom announced last night that she thought it looked dead. Hopefully it will recover, but I have my doubts.