…to plant garlic. Traditionally, garlic may be planted on the shortest day of the year (December 21st) and harvested on the longest (June 21st).
It’s been several weeks since the beautiful plump bulbs of Solent Wight and Chesnok Wight arrived from The Garlic Farm, and I have been clutching onto this piece of advice as a lifeline while the days have flown past and the garlic has remained patiently in the kitchen.
Finally, on Wednesday – a day late, but let’s hope the garlic doesn’t notice – I snatched a quiet hour late in the afternoon to wrap up warm and venture out into the snowy garden.
The greenhouse glowed alluringly in the warm gold of the sinking sun as I dragged a fresh bag of compost from the shed, through the snow and into the greenhouse.
Just beyond the greenhouse, in the frozen field, the sheep continued to dig through the snow looking for buried grass, and several inquisitive sheep came to the fence to watch what I was doing as I set about breaking the bulbs into cloves to plant.
Obviously with the frozen ground, I had no intention of putting the garlic straight into the earth, but rather to plant the cloves in pots, to be planted out into the ground in the spring. We employed this method last year, and are still enjoying our harvested bulbs now, and expect the remainder to last well into the spring. Since we don’t expect them to grow and fatten fully in the pots, I overplanted, cramming several cloves more than recommended into each pot.
An hour later, as my feet sullenly grumbled about the cold, the cloves were planted and the pots placed outside the greenhouse in two groups of pots. This weather should give them the “cold spell” that starts them growing, no doubt about it! Time and cold fingers meant that I didn’t quite get around to labelling them: at the moment I am fully confident that the group of pots nearest the house holds the Solent Wight, and hopefully noting this down here will mean they are identified correctly next time that I have a chance to pop down and label them.
Thank you so much for all the warm words of welcome to our latest additions, Willow and Xander – they are settling in nicely, and we are looking forward to continuing to get to know them in the next few weeks. You will definitely be seeing more of them here!
‘Tis also the season to celebrate, of course, and enjoy the festivities with family and friends. I hope that wherever you are, you have a wonderful Christmas.
I have only been writing this blog for six months, and in that time I have been overwhelmed by the generous and warm hearted community of bloggers out there. Thank you all so much for your support; for visiting, commenting and advising. I am thrilled to have “met” so many wonderful people, and look forward to getting to know you all better next year!
Time to go and get the house ready for our visitors who are arriving in a few hours; another batch of mince pies to make (where did Monday’s batch go? We must have mice…) and two mischievous kitties to cuddle. Merry Christmas to you all; I shall be back in a few days.