The cooling off in the weather signaled its time to plant the garlic. The actual soil preparation for the planting site started 12 months before;
* Green manure crop
* Applying BD 500
* Making compost
Just before planting the soil was tested and lacking elements were added, beds were formed up, trickle laid. Then we started planting, this was made a bit easier with the help of our neighbours and in turn we will help them when needed. The wet weather prior to planting gave us the opportunity to break up and grade the garlic seed, all 480kgs of it!
Here DH is seeding the beds with worm eggs and is then covered with mulch. This is done to encourage the life in the soil. "Healthy soil = Healthy plants = Healthy produce" It would be fair to say that we grow our garlic more bio dynamically than organically.
Spreading the mulch on the plot to supress weeds, normally done with me driving the tractor and the boys actually spreading the mulch. Last year we noticed quite alot of worm life as they were composting it. A good sign.
Nearly half way - its a big job and is done over a few days although this will extend as we increase plantings. DS is on the other side of the camera this time, so didn't get a picture of him but the genetic farming gene did not skip him and at odd times you will see him grab a handful of dirt and smell it (something about the smell and wether its acidic or alkaline..)
The neighbouring paddock is locked off from the cattle 12 months before hand to let it grow. About a week before planting DH slashes it and then rakes it into windrows. It is later collected and used to mulch the garlic. (now I did mention that each member of the family has their "own" pitch fork, I wasn't joking)
April or Autumn really is a busy time, garlic is in and growing but now we are busy harvesting DS's Rosella crop.