The Garden in Winter

First signs of growth coming through

I must say that despite the cold, I love the winter, not as much as Autumn and Spring mind, but a heavy frost at sunrise is awe inspiring isn’t it? Especially when you encased in thermals and a puffer vest! And there is something incredibly satisfying about pruning and clearing; and the inevitable mid winter bonfire.

June 22nd is winter solstice this year and it is the tradition to plant garlic on this the shortest day of the year (and harvest on the longest).

Climate changes have meant that some people planted their garlic up to two months ago. The idea is that it needs a dry period at the end of its growth to avoid rot. Of course, last year it rained and all of us raced out and pulled up garlic and some of us lost a lot.

I tend to stagger my planting, having done two already, I w will plant my third and final on solstice. I love the tradition of it and children enjoy it too.

You can pop any bulb in as long as its Australian grown (all organic bulbs are Australian grown), as the ones from overseas are irradiated to stop them sprouting.

Bulbs are such a miracle, and such an easy thing for children to enjoy, and they are just as happy in pots (bulbs that is, not children).

Keep them weed free though, bulbs prefer not to compete and a garlic patch needs regular loving; just mind you and the kids only pull up the weeds!

by Caithlin

Ned weeding the garlic

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