This is the time of year I put my garden to bed. On Friday, I planted my last crop of the year, garlic. This is a new experiment for me in extending the season – I had heard that you could grow garlic over the winter, harvesting in early June, which is just the time I was thinking of getting to work on my patio project. Then, I received three heads of different garlic varieties from the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, all of which are hardy enough to grow in my region.
So Friday night, lit by the full moon, I planted my garlic bulbs. Conventional New England wisdom is to plant garlic on Halloween, but I’m also experimenting with the Hatian tradition of planting when the moon is full, so I went a week early. First I pulled out the remaining tomato plants, and said goodbye to my beautiful nasturtium. I added compost and turned everything over thoroughly. Then I planted the cloves separately – the Hatian tradition is to do full or half heads, but I know lots of folks in this region who do separate cloves, and given my squirrel problem, I thought it better to divide in smaller chunks to try to have some make it through. Then I mulched it all with the last bit of last year’s leaves. Still waiting for Nemesis Tree to drop leaves but I’m confident it will happen before I need to mulch the rest of the beds.
I also planted two toad lilies, my last fall perennials, and top dressed my back flower beds. They look so clean and handsome with two inches of composted manure to condition the soil. Clockwise from top left that is: Clematis (on the obelisk), lilacs which Ellison firmly believes will flower despite their shady locale, toad lily, plumbago, 2 columbines, purple coneflower, and two coral bells “stormy seas”.
Now nothing to plant until the peas go in on St. Patrick’s Day. Sigh.