garlic patch installed
Tuesday, October 9 2012
I spent the bulk of today finishing the garlic patch project. In the morning I tore down the north end of the existing elliptical wall and then extended it northward five or six feet, to the edge of a ditch funneling water from west of the paved parking area into a drainage pipe. It's surprisingly easy to build a stone wall after doing all the work of assembling a large library of suitable stones, and by late this morning I'd completed the building of the garlic patch's retaining wall, ranging from 17 to 24 inches tall. At that point I needed to fill this large structure with soil, but it would be impractical to try to gather it with five gallon buckets. So I did some research online and found a place in Marbletown that could deliver topsoil. $250 dollars later, I'd secured a delivery of three cubic yards of "topsoil." It came within hours, and I had the dumptruck driver drop it upon the belly-high weeds on the east edge of the driveway. In between fielding web-development tasks (announced by a sound effect over the podcasts being broadcast from my computer), I carried bucket after bucket of soil from the pile to the garlic patch until it was full. I took the opportunity of all that fill space to dispose of some drywall scraps from the greenhouse upstairs project (gypsum is good for a garden!). I also got buried all of the kitchen compost at the bottom of the garlic patch; it had gotten soggy and too heavy to turn and thus gone anærobic. But I imagine all those gasses percolating up from below to the garlic bulbs will contribute to their happiness.
The soil that had been delivered ("Dynagrow Topsoil") was a bit sandier than I expected (or wanted), but it was also dark, as though organic matter had been deliberately mixed in. It contained a few small round stones but absolutely no earthworms or plant roots, indicating it had essentially been manufactured using pure ingredients. I prefer the cakelike texture of the soil I get from the Esopus bank in Old Hurley, but that stuff is full of weed roots and it takes a lot of effort to get enough to fill in a raised garden bed.
I planted garlic cloves over the entire three by thirteen foot surface of the new bed on a six inch grid in between clumps of composted humanure (dating mostly from the January 2012 brownhouse cleanout). To further juice up the nutrient content of the soil, I poured in several gallons of dilute urine and then coffee-colored "turd tea" drained from the bottom of a 30 gallon shit bucket using a pre-installed tap. You know you're going to want to be eating the garlic at my house.
This evening our houseguest Liza made us a simply chili for dinner, which we all ate while watching teevee in the usual way.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next