After you slog through the humid, sticky summer, there is a great deal of joy in the crisp fall weather. Cleaning out beds, pruning shrubs, planting cover crops, turning compost, collecting seeds, and raking leaves is much easier when you aren’t dripping in sweat. This morning’s project was planting garlic (Seed Saver’s Exchange Extra Hardy German Hardneck saved from this summer’s harvest, specifically). I forgot to take photos of the garlic… but I did take a few photos of current plants, cauliflower and chard.  The chard is currently baking in a Chard Bake, pending lunchtime.

Columbus Day is the best time of year to plant garlic* in the Northern part of the US. The October planting date gives the cloves plenty of time to become established and secured before the first freeze, and you’ll have garlic ready to eat by the end of June or so.

How to Plant Garlic

Prepare your bed so you have deep, loose, rich soil. Dig 3″ holes separated by 4-6″ with rows 12″ apart. Place one large, undiseased clove in each hole such that you can cover with 1-2″ of soil. Water. Mulch heavily (hay or leaves work well) or plant a cover crop that will die over the winter.

Update: Chard Bake was delicious!

*Also the best time of year to run half-marathons. I’ve got some serious envy for those running the BAA half tomorrow. Perfect weather!