[Market-farming] garlic spacing -- soil prep - now harvesting leeks!

david purpura davepurpura at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 8 10:47:54 EST 2005

Hi All.  Dorene (and anyone else) - you havest leeks in the winter?  You can leave them in the ground?  I pulled all of mine a couple of weeks ago because they weren't looking as good as they were a couple weeks before that, stuck them in a couple inches of water in five gallon buckets, and stored in the cellar.  But they're smelling a little funky now, and the outer layer or two is kind of mushy and needs to be peeled off.  
So, was that the wrong thing to do?   Should they be left in the ground until it freezes?
And, I'm all over the sheet composting thing.  Lay it on, lay it on....  rake it off in the spring and good to go.  The garlic seems to like the bedding coming right out of the barn, chicken poop and all.  And it still meets the 120 day limit of the nop, far as I can tell...

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Today's Topics:

1. anise-hyssup (william jones)
2. Re: garlic spacing -- onion root maggots (Alliums)
3. Re: garlic spacing -- the biannual garlic rant at Allan! ; -)
4. Re: garlic spacing -- soil prep (Alliums)
5. Re: Fwd: NY Times organics editorial (Christine & Marlin)


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 09:11:59 -0500
From: "william jones" 
Subject: [Market-farming] anise-hyssup
To: "Market Farming" 
Message-ID: <000001c5e2fa$3edd0260$98e05a42 at qwandabi>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

November 6, 2005
Trying to get a jump on next season. I raise bees. Would like to grow about
1/2 acre of Anise-Hyssop. Would like suggestions on cultural practices
including how to plant and space the seeds. Would like to plant the plot in
sections so that the flowering season would last until frost. How far apart
should the successive plantings be? How should areas that have quit
flowering be handled to get a second, third or more blooming during the
season? Located just east of Charlotte, NC. Thanks.

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Message: 2
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 08:53:35 -0500
From: "Alliums" 
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] garlic spacing -- onion root maggots
To: "'Market Farming'" 
Message-ID: <0IPL0047T7XFA8W0 at vms048.mailsrvcs.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi, Folks!

Leigh wrote:

<lost about a third of my crop due to onion root maggots. >>

I can't remember where onion root maggots come from, but my thought is that
they came in from elsewhere (infested onion sets?) and attacked whatever
alliums they could find.

Also, are you sure they were onion root maggots? I've had problems with
wireworms the year after I convert any turf to a growing bed for garlic.
The next year, no wireworms, but converting turf to garlic always seems to
give problems the first year.

<to lay their eggs. What do you think? >>

I don't think it was the mulch, per say -- I think somehow you got them and
they went for the available allium. 

<about putting down row covers in March before the last frost.>> 

That seems like an awful lot of work for garlic. Are there any other
controls for onion root maggots?

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460


Message: 3
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 09:12:19 -0500
From: "Alliums" 
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] garlic spacing -- the biannual garlic
rant at Allan! ; -)
To: "'Market Farming'" 
Message-ID: <0IPL00M258SNU760 at vms044.mailsrvcs.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi, Folks!

Allan wrote:

<apparently, a zealous intern saw the drip closed off and turned it 
on, so, during a dry spell in in July, the garlic, under 6inches of 
mulch, wound up getting an inch of water every time the lettuce 
needed an inch.>>

Allan, Allan, Allan - I was so proud of you last year, when I didn't have to
say a word about how you handled your garlic, but this year, I feel obliged
to whomp down the caps lock key and say:

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, ALLAN?!?!?!?!?!?!?????!!!!!!?????!!!!?????!!!!!!?


First off, with all that mulch, why do you need to water at all? In my
notes to USDA, I've noticed that I haven't watered my garlic for the past 5
years. As my garlic is planted on raised beds of horse stable sweepings
(straw/manure mix), then covered with chopped leaves (easier to get around
here than straw), I've stuck my finger in the soil and found it damp enough
not to need to water.

Now, we've had some nasty droughts here in Southeastern PA and when it
doesn't rain in June, my garlic matures fast. And when it seems that we're
in for a particularly nasty July/August (like this year -- rain? What rain?
:-P), the garlic seems to know and matures *very* quickly -- I've gone from
harvesting through July to harvesting in mid-June to early July. But the
bulbs are large and healthy, so I'm letting the garlic do what it wants to
do -- and it gets it dormant and out of the ground as the rains stop, so I
don't have to fuss with it and can spend the time on crops that really will
die if they aren't watered.

Second of all, when are you harvesting that you're watering in June and
July? Even if you're harvesting in July, why did you think it would need
any water after the Summer Solstice, which is when all garlic is in its dry
down phase? (I really mean this very nicely.)


Clay is my life, and it's probably subsoil, too, since the Housing Authority
sold off all the topsoil. Compost is the only reason we have crops at all.
I've really found that if you give the garlic plenty of organic matter (and
preferably, organic matter really, really high in nitrogen), it does fine.
If you haven't subsoiled, I wouldn't worry too much as long as you're piling
on the organic matter.


I think that's it, too.

<that are affecting garlic and then determine how to disrupt that 
cycle so they can be pests. And then, of course, share that 
information with us here.>>

I think you're right, here, too. 

You're going to be a great garlic grower, Allan, if I have to wear out my
caps lock key to do it! ;-D


Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460


Message: 4
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 09:25:44 -0500
From: "Alliums" 
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] garlic spacing -- soil prep
To: "'Market Farming'" 
Message-ID: <0IPL009TZ9F0L4O0 at vms044.mailsrvcs.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi, Folks!

Marty wrote:


Yes, this is my life, too -- community garden on subsoil lot behind housing

<that I can use.>>

This is excellent -- your soil will love you for it.

<leaves mixed with ground alfalfa composting in a pile on that bed which 
I will till in very soon.>>

Ground alfalfa is good, but if you can get your hands on manure, especially
this time of year so that it has time to compost down over the winter, I'd
grab whatever I could get, especially for garlic.

If you can't get manure, I strongly suggest that you look into worm
composting -- a mix of kitchen trimmings and newspaper will give you the
best fertilizer possible.


It's cheaper and probably gives a better nutrient mix to use worm castings.
I strongly discourage my gardeners from using purchased fertilizers -- of
course, here in Chester County, PA, we are awash in horses and each gardener
has their own composter, so we have plenty of the raw materials

<< 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 

I'm not sure why you are tilling in KS in fall. I'd sheet composting over
the winter and then till in the Spring if I was going to till. Right now,
left-over Halloween pumpkins and fallen leaves are our friends in the
community garden. If you're in an urban area, you ought to be able to get
the materials you need, cover your soil AND replace your organic matter for
the winter.

Cover cropping is always better, but in a small urban area, I find we're
using the land until heavy frost, so there's no time for the cover crop to
take hold. Sheet composting is an nice compromise.


There are folks who disagree with me, but if you're in an urban area with 3
season production on a clay-based soil, I don't think you can add too much
organic matter, especially over the winter.

<translates into what I do in the beds or when in the year I do it.>>

If the soil is below 60 degrees, the microbes aren't as efficient at
converting the organic matter. However, I find that sheet composting over
the winter, when all I'm doing is pulling out leeks, kale and root crops,
works just fine -- although it's more "efficient" to do all your soil
amending in the Spring when the soil microbes are converting everything
faster, in urban areas, you have to use that soil, so being "inefficient" by
providing organic matter from November to March when I'm not using the soil,
but the microbes are only taking a bite now and then, still works better
than trying to plant peas in April AND feed all those microbes. Your land,
of course, may vary, but this is what works for us.

Hope this helps!


Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460


Message: 5
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 09:37:00 -0500
From: "Christine & Marlin" 
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Fwd: NY Times organics editorial
To: "'Market Farming'" 
Message-ID: <200511070942687.SM02180 at GlenEcoFarm01>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"


Thanks for sending the editorial. It answered some of my questions
following a trip with Horizon.

I went along on a bus trip to a 600+ cow organic dairy farm in
Kennedysville, MD. Horizon owns the dairy and paid for all of the expenses
of the day. Horizon is owned by Dean who also owns the former Shenandoah's
Pride processing plant south of Harrisonburg. Horizon would like for the 6
farmers in Rockingham County who are transitioning to organic to sign up
with them.

I am grateful to Horizon for their hospitality, but the experiences of the
day disillusioned me with the "organic" label. When we got on the bus we
were handed a "lunch bag" with breakfast food. The "organic" foods were 3
plastic tubes of yogurt and a 1/2 cup size box of strawberry milk. What
natural, synthetic free foods! 

Christine Burkholder

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Leigh Hauter
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 5:48 PM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] Fwd: NY Times organics editorial

>November 4, 2005
>An Organic Drift
>Organic food has become a very big business, with a 20 percent annual 
>growth rate in sales in recent years. But popularity has come at a 
>price. Ever since 2002, when the Department of Agriculture began its 
>program of national organic certification, there has been a steady 
>lobbying effort to weaken standards in a way that makes it easier for 
>the giant food companies, which often use synthetic substances in 
>processing, to enter the organic market.
>That's exactly why many organic farmers greeted the U.S.D.A.'s 
>organic seal with real trepidation. They know that the one thing the 
>department has always done especially well is to capitulate to the 
>lobbying pressure of big food and big agriculture.
>Last week, an amendment was slipped into the agricultural spending 
>bill without meaningful debate in a closed-door Republican meeting. 
>It would do two things. It would overturn a court decision 
>reinstating the old legal standard that prohibits synthetic 
>substances in organic foods. And it would allow the agriculture 
>secretary to approve synthetic substances if no organic substitute 
>was commercially available.
>In part, this is a battle over a label. The big producers, which 
>often use synthetic materials in processing, want to call their 
>processed foods organic because that designation commands premium 
>prices. They do not want to say their products are made with organic 
>ingredients - a lesser designation that allows more synthetics. This 
>is also a cultural battle, a struggle between the people who have 
>long kept the organic faith - despite the historic neglect of the 
>U.S.D.A. - and industry giants that see a rapidly expanding and 
>highly profitable niche that can be pried open even further with 
>"Organic" is not merely a label, a variable seal of approval at the 
>end of the processing chain. It means a way of raising crops and 
>livestock that is better for the soil, the animals, the farmers and 
>the consumers themselves - a radical change, in other words, from 
>conventional agriculture. Unless consumers can be certain that those 
>standards are strictly upheld, "organic" will become meaningless.
>Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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End of Market-farming Digest, Vol 34, Issue 6

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