Every year, gardeners around the world are confronted with the same tedious but necessary occupation. Preparing a garden for garlic may seem boring to some, but if you do not take care of it in the fall, then most likely the planting will not survive the winter. The topic of this article is a garden for garlic, how to prepare winter garlic and how to plant it for the winter.
It is very important to choose a suitable place that will fully provide the winter garlic with plenty of sunlight, but at the same time will not accumulate water. That is, you should not plant garlic in depressions and lowlands, where water from melting snow will drain in the spring. The culture grows best on loamy soil, especially if the acidity is neutral or low. A big plus will be the presence of organic residues, which during the winter will turn into good fertilizer.
It is important to choose the right predecessors, since winter garlic is not “friendly” with all plants.
Garlic exhibits high yields and disease resistance when planted after cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes, early-ripening potatoes and cabbage. During their growth in the garden, they fertilize the soil well with various chemical elements, creating a favorable atmosphere for the growing season of garlic.
If possible, do not plant garlic after late-ripening potatoes, radishes, turnips, carrots. During their growing season, they take all useful trace elements from the soil. And in a short time of calm, after harvesting before planting, the soil does not have time to recover. Growing any crop on depleted soil is not the best idea.
Winter garlic should not be grown after any other type of garlic. Long-term cultivation of a crop in one place leads to the fact that insect pests and fungal spores settle in this area and lead to infection of new plants.
The garlic bed must be properly treated with special preparations. In the fall, just for digging, the earth should be disinfected. The practice of using fungicidal preparations "Fitosporin" and "Topsin-M" for the destruction of fungal spores, as well as prevention of their reproduction next year, is widespread. Antiseptics-insecticides "Acrobat" and "Radomil Gold" are also used. They should be combined with other chemicals to achieve the best result. The soil can be watered:
Prevention of the formation of fungal deposits is carried out with infusions of yarrow and calendula.
Also, on the eve of planting, the garlic bed should be fertilized. They use both ready-made fertilizer mixtures, which are sold in garden stores, and made independently. You can use any of the recipes below:
Digging the soil for the winter is carried out to a depth of at least 20 centimeters, that is, approximately 1-1.5 shovel bayonets.
After you finish digging the site, water it well, and then cover it with polyethylene or roofing felt before planting.
Seed preparation is a step that should never be skipped. First of all, calibrate the cloves and bulbs, selecting only the largest, healthy, unaffected specimens. Even slightly damaged cloves should be discarded. Remove the “mother bottom” from each clove selected for planting so that it does not interfere with root germination. Also form small groups of bulbs by size.
A week before planting, winter garlic is soaked in a pink solution of potassium permanganate for a day. You can also use a solution of copper sulfate: 1 tablespoon of sulfate is taken for 10 liters of water, soaked for a day. Ash liquor is also used to harden the seed in the fall: 2 liters of solution with ash are boiled for 15 minutes in 5 liters of water, cooled, filtered and soaked in it for 2 hours the cloves.
For garlic to survive the winter well, you need to plant it correctly. On the site, make furrows up to 15 centimeters deep, backfill with 3 centimeters of clean river sand. Water well, and then lay out the cloves with the sharp part up, keeping a distance of 10-15 centimeters between them. After covering them with earth, once again water and thoroughly mulch the beds with straw, sawdust or pine needles. Before the onset of cold weather, cover the beds with roofing material.
The bulbs are planted in furrows 5-6 centimeters deep, laid on moistened sand at a depth of 3 centimeters, sprinkled with earth, watered and then mulched. Also, planting bulbs for the winter is possible in newspapers. On the beds, lay out newspapers with holes in which to place the bulbs, sprinkle with earth on top, pour and mulch with plant residues. This method will help get rid of weeds in the garden.
This video is about how to prepare the beds in the fall for planting garlic.
Garlic is a culture that is demanding on the soil and the sun, therefore, a garden bed for it is equipped in the most comfortable and even place of the site. The plant does not like excess moisture; it should not be planted in lowland and shaded areas.
Melted snow should not lie in the future garlic bed: moisture destroys the sprouts. If the site is located on a hill, the wind will blow off snow from the ground, and the culture is threatened with freezing.
If the site is completely located in the lowland, the beds for winter garlic are made high, strengthened on the sides with boards or slate: this allows the soil to warm up better and makes it less wet.
The future garlic bed should be away from the paths.
It is important to take into account the requirements of the plant in order to place the garden bed in the most advantageous place. The culture loves sun and moderate moisture. On the site where a garden bed is planned, water should not stagnate, especially melted snow. Garlic will behave worse on the shady side of the plot, in the lowlands. If the relief of the site does not allow allocating a place with the necessary parameters for landing, then the exit will be in the design of high ridges.
The second criterion when choosing a place for a garden bed is compliance with crop rotation. Do not plant bulbs in the same area for two years in a row. Between plantings in one bed, they are kept for at least three years. It is also important to consider which crop was the predecessor of garlic in the garden.
Spring grows well on loams, winter prefers sandy loam.
Before deciding what to fertilize garlic, you also need to take into account the type of culture. There are winter and spring garlic. You can use the same substances for feeding and fertilizing these varieties, but at different times. For example, before winter, chemical mineral fertilizers with nitrogen for winter crops should not be applied - such an additive can provoke an acceleration in the growth of the aboveground part. And, on the contrary, a garden for spring can be generously enriched with such a remedy, including at the very beginning.
Before the onset of the winter period, the plant needs to have time to form a well-developed root system. This can be helped by organic matter - for 2 varieties, it is mandatory to use from the very beginning. They also need to be fed according to different schemes, differing in the proportions of their constituent components.
Every gardener should know that growing a bulbous culture should not be in one place for a long time, so that it is not attacked by pests and fungal diseases.
Of the known varieties of garlic, the most commonly used:
When growing garlic, the following rules must be observed:
Advice! You should not put manure in the beds under winter garlic, otherwise its tops will become abundant, and the head will be loose and unresistant to infections.
Ideally, you should have started preparing the garden in advance by choosing a site where no other plants from the onion family were grown this year, and having arranged a convenient area for both yourself and the garlic.
Garlic loves fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7. Make immediately raised beds with a height of 30 cm, add rotted manure, bone or fish meal and complex fertilizers to the top layer (15 cm), conduct deep watering and cover with a layer of mulch in 5 cm.
Avoid walking on a raised bed after tillage to prevent the soil from compaction and loss of drainage properties.
Raised structures can double vegetable production compared to conventional garden beds. This is due to several factors: less soil compaction, closer planting and a favorable environment. The soil in the raised bed is loose, which promotes good root growth.
Instead of constantly struggling with clay, sandy, highly acidic or alkaline soil, it is enough to make a fertile top layer.
Plus, raised beds are easy to build to a level that makes gardening a joy, not a pain in the neck (or back). Some even build benches on either side of the raised bed!
Who wants to waste time weeding too much?
Mustard before planting winter garlic is a great choice! After sowing mustard in the beds, after 2 weeks you will see a real green wall with almost no weeds. Mustard grows so fast that it doesn't give competing weeds the slightest chance.
Mustard seeds germinate quickly.
Simply scatter the seeds over the loosened soil and then smooth with the back of the rake. Thinning the shoots within the palm of your hand will harvest vitamin greens with a milder flavor than in summer.
Mustard greens have no problem with light freezing, but temperatures below -7 ° C are already destructive. Before this happens, mow the greens and cover the chopped roots and tops with a cultivator in the soil, when they decompose, they suppress nematodes and some common phytopathogens.
Whether you use mustard as a cover crop or not, you should prepare your winter garlic bed at least a week in advance for the soil to settle.
If you want to optimize the space on the site, use the practice of joint planting.
However, when choosing companion plants for garlic, there is one complicating factor - winter garlic is grown from autumn to mid-summer, and most vegetables are planted in spring. Because of this scheduling gap, a companion landing requires prior planning.
Garlic with strawberries
In one study, researchers compared the effects of different green neighbors on strawberry spider mites. Crops such as garlic, coriander, fennel, oregano, and scented marjoram were considered. As a result, garlic became the leader of the rating.
When thick double rows of garlic were placed between the rows of strawberries, the number of spider mites was reduced by 44-65 percent. Perhaps it makes sense for you to try this method, especially if garden strawberries are already growing in a raised bed.
Thus, there is no need to equip a new place for garlic, and mulching with straw for the winter is the same practice for both crops.
Garlic with cabbage
Garlic is famous for the fact that it "invigorates" beneficial soil microbes with special substances secreted through the roots. The mentioned quality is useful for cabbage grown through seedlings. In addition, the garlic smell discourages the cabbage moth, which lays eggs on the leaves, where the caterpillars then damage the crop.
Having determined where you will plant cabbage seedlings in the spring, in the fall, plant rows of garlic with an interval of one meter between the future cabbage line and mark with a pointer.
Garlic and oats
Returning to the topic of cover crops, let us mention unpretentious oats.
When used as an autumn cover crop, oats are sown at the same time as garlic. Plants will grow ankle-deep before dying from the cold and creating a natural mulch that, when decomposed, enriches the soil with nitrogen. Oat roots prevent erosion.
This method allows you to get an excellent harvest without dressing the soil, suitable for regions where the planting of the vegetable takes place in September-October. To properly prepare a bed for garlic for planting in the fall using this method, you must:
For the period of planting, the formed seedlings of green manure will be visible. They will protect the rooted plant at the beginning of winter, and in the spring the green mass will become an additional fertilizer for the spicy vegetable sprouts. With this technology of forming a site for planting, additional disinfection is not required.