Yesterday I roped Thing 1 into helping me with the garlic planting. Garlic is easy enough for kids of almost any age to help with. I just plopped the garlic on the ground at the spacing I wanted it planted, and Thing 1 stuck them in the ground and covered them up. We planted about 80 cloves of garlic and 18 cloves of shallots.
I had already cleared the bed last weekend of weeds and stray potatoes, so it was nice and fluffy, waiting for the alliums. I don't put down any fertilizer for them in the fall. I put down quite a bit of rock phosphate when the beds were built, so I'm hoping it's still around. However, this spring I'm going to get a soil test done to see what minerals my soil is missing.
I grow Music and Inchelium Red garlic. Music is a potent hardneck variety, and Inchelium Red is a local-ish heritage softneck variety which is much more mild and sweet - great for roasting and braiding. I've been saving my seed from these two for over five years now.
I'm glad we got the planting done. The weather, which has been dry and sunny most of the month, is supposed to turn back to rainy by the end of the week. There's really so much yardwork yet to do, and I'm spending way too much time on the computer, and not getting the work done. Oh, to be disciplined!
I've been trying to grow shallots here for a few years, with no success. At my old house, they grew like gangbusters in rocky, sandy, infertile soil. Here, on my loamy soil, I'm lucky to get any. Yet still I try. Third time's a charm, right?