Last Friday seven River Valley Charter School students from the 6th grade class came to the Monk’s Garden to learn about planting garlic. The students were excited to be at the garden, eager to learn about growing, and especially interested in the bugs they found.
We started with a mini lesson about garlic and how to grow it. Garlic, or “garglick” as the kids liked to call it, is related to onions because they are both from the Allium family. Second, it is grown as an annual plant, meaning that it completes its lifecycle in one season: seed to flower to seed. Garlic is planted in the fall as the ground begins to get cold and is harvested in the summer when the leaves brown.
We saved garlic that we harvested this summer to plant this fall. With the kids help, we broke apart the bulbs and gathered the cloves for planting. Each clove will grow into a whole bulb during the growing period. Amazing right?
Garlic likes to grow in a lot of organic matter so we tilled our cover crop into the soil and created beds to plant into. We planted eight rows in total, four rows of softneck garlic and four of hardneck. These are two different varieties of garlic and each has unique characteristics.
After preparing the cloves, we marked the rows with baling twine in an attempt to keep the rows straight.
The next step was making holes in the soil for the cloves to be planted into. A measuring tape was run down the length of the row and the kids marked holes every six inches.
Our next helpers placed a clove in each hole (pointy side up!) and pushed them down two to three inches deep and covered them up.
To finish up, we covered each bed with a thick layer of straw to insulate garlic really well. And that's how you plant garlic! Thank you RVCS students for all of your amazing help!