[Market-farming] garlic spacing

Marty Kraft martyk at allspecies.org
Sat Nov 5 11:11:53 EST 2005

Thanks. It's clear you understand soils more than I. Let me explain 
what I have done to the soil and what my intent is.

I am exploring ways to get the most out of precious little urban space. 
My neighbor has a lawn service and provides all the chopped up leaves 
that I can use. I have an 18X4 foot bed with a yard of last years 
leaves mixed with ground alfalfa composting in a pile on that bed which 
I will till in very soon. About two months ago I fertilized the bed 
with Bioform fertilizer. I do not want to ruin my soil as I strive for 
best production. I have been told that when I till I will introduce air 
and the soil's nitrogen will be used as microbes eat the organic 
matter. I thought that I had to replace both every year. I would like 
any references that you would like to send.

I'm not sure about how the information about soil temperature above 60 
translates into what I do in the beds or when in the year I do it. I am 
also wondering if my sources of nitrogen and organic matter are 

Thanks again for your help.

Marty Kraft
Kansas City

On Nov 5, 2005, at 6:30 AM, Tradingpost wrote:

> Agree that's pushing it, esp since garlic is a heavy feeder as you 
> say. What I was driving at is the matter of soil fertility and 
> structure. The more intensive we grow, the more critical the soil 
> condition becomes. And we can grow far more in less space if we 
> respect the requirements for the healthiest soil. Otherwise people can 
> grow any way they please or wear out the soil with NPK if they don't 
> care or don't know better. Commercial growing has eroded or worn out 
> half our best topsoil over recent decades. No secret there.
> To support the heaviest production and most nutritious produce, soil 
> needs sufficient nitrogen to decompose sufficient organic matter (and 
> time above 60 degrees), and this needs to be a continuous process from 
> stable  nitrogen-bearing organic sources that don't leach out and need 
> re-dosing every three months. During this process the soil needs the 
> full range of secondary nutrients and trace minerals for the humic 
> acid being produced to chelate those minerals into stable forms that 
> microbes can use to feed plant roots. This results in particle 
> aggregation and the loose, moisture retentive soil that plants love. 
> Proper balance of these elements and time builds the healthy soil for 
> the kind of production that other growers won't believe. You don't 
> need to "get big or get out". You need healthy soil for healthy 
> people. Research on these things is available online if you want 
> sources from me offlist.
> paul NM tradingpost at gilanet.com See you at
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OWL-OldWaysLiving/
> *********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********
> On 11/5/2005 at 5:38 AM Marty Kraft wrote:
>> Paul
>> I'm new as gardeners go. I have been told that garlic is a heavy
>> feeder. I am planting cloves very close together. It seemed to make
>> sense to use an organic fertilizer if I ask so much of the soil. I am
>> open to suggestions.
>> Marty Kraft
>> On Nov 4, 2005, at 7:25 PM, Tradingpost wrote:
>>> As a matter of curiosity, what's wrong with the soil that it needs
>>> fertilizing?
>>> paul NM tradingpost at gilanet.com See you at
>>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OWL-OldWaysLiving/
>>> *********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********
>>> On 11/4/2005 at 4:36 PM Marty Kraft wrote:
>>>> I planted nine per square foot and they looked pretty good. The
>>>> problem
>>>> is I haven't been growing garlic long so do not know what to 
>>>> expect. I
>>>> would fertilize well and plant in October not at Christmas time 
>>>> like I
>>>> did last time.
>>>> Marty Kraft
>>>> On Nov 4, 2005, at 11:59 AM, Goodwill at Homefields Farm wrote:
>>>>> we planted hardnecks: triple row in a 36" bed.  will mulch and 
>>>>> report
>>>>> back
>>>>> next summer.
>>>>> thanks,
>>>>> Scott
>>>>> Scott Breneman
>>>>> Farm Manager
>>>>> Goodwill at Homefields Farm
>>>>> 150 Letort Rd
>>>>> Millersville, PA 17551
>>>>> www.homefields.org/goodwill
>>>>> 717-871-3110
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