My older daughter and I headed out for a walk, and we decided to go ahead and remove the plastic covering our garlic beds.
When looking up how to plant winter garlic, all the resources said to cover the garlic with a heavy layer of mulch.
What none of them did was mention when to take off the mulch in the spring. I knew the mulch was removed, because all the videos and photos I saw that were taken later in the growing season showed the garlic growing out of bare soil. No mulch in sight. It took some dedicated searching, but I finally found resources that said to remove the mulch after overnight temperatures were consistently above -6C/21F. Looking at our long range forecasts, we seem to be at that point, as overnight temperatures are generally supposed to stay above freezing. We’ve started by just removing the plastic for now, though. We’re supposed to get some much needed rain tomorrow, and have decided to leave the mulch a bit longer. Right now, it’s keeping the beds from drying out, like everything else has done this spring. With so little snow over the winter, and very little precipitation so far this spring, every little bit of moisture is precious.
When I dug these beds out, I moved the soil to one side, put the contents of our compost heap on the bottom, added straw on top, then put the soil back, including the soil that was in what are now paths. I dug those areas down to the gravel, using it to raise the garlic beds higher, then filled the space with scrap wood to create the paths.
I won’t be adding another path on the other side of the third bed, which means I’ll only have what soil I take off the top. I’ll be emptying out our compost heap into the bottom, then add in the mulch from the garlic beds, before putting the soil back. I don’t think it’ll be as high as the other beds, but hopefully we’ll have our loads of garden soil delivered soon, so I’ll be able to top it off with that. The mulch will probably be removed before then, and I’ll just move it onto the paths at first.
We’ve had quite a few warm days. I think I’ll call the company up in the next day or two and see if their soil is thawed out enough to load into their trucks or not.
I might be just a little bit excited about getting that soil! 😀