The cloves of garlic that I sowed in pots a few days before Christmas are showing vibrant green shoots, in their space along the path beside the greenhouse.
Planting these was a cold task in the bitter chill of winter, and time was short. When I broke apart the bulbs of Solent Wight garlic, the softneck type that we are trying this year alongside the hardneck Chesnok Wight, I planted most of the larger outer cloves but did not have time or pots (or the stamina!) to also sow all the smaller inner cloves that formed within the bulb. They were wrapped back up and put in the shed with the intention of planting them later.
This weekend, King of the Hill shifted the black sheeting that he put down to warm up the top part of our vegetable patch and dug the top corner, so that we could plant the remaining garlic. I pushed each clove into the soil about 4 or 5 inches apart , ending up with two rows each containing 20 cloves. As well as the seventy-odd cloves that are already sprouting in their pots, we should have a healthy garlic harvest this year if they all reach their potential! Sadly, we came to the end of last year’s garlic at the weekend, so must turn now to the farmers’ market and local grocers for our supplies until this year’s crop is grown.
These cloves were all broken apart six weeks’ ago when I planted the rest of the garlic, which may affect their chances of success, as ideally they should only be separated just before planting. Fingers crossed…
Beside the green flags of the garlic, the pot of primroses is really starting to come into its own now, in spite of the fierce winds that have swept through here recently. The sunny yellow flowers and fresh green foliage light up the path even when the sun is more reluctant to shine.
Sadly, the rhododendron that we rescued two years ago before building works began, cutting it back and potting it into a large container with fresh ericaceous compost, has fared less well against the battering storms. While most of the shrub still looks happy, there was one wayward stem heavy with two beautiful buds that I have been watching swell all winter; alas, this has been snapped off and these buds shall never reach their potential.
But the less exposed body of the shrub looks in fine mettle; there will be other buds.