[Market-farming] Mulching garlic was garlic rotation

Allan Balliett aballiett at frontiernet.net
Wed Oct 18 08:59:52 EDT 2006


Straw is up to $5+ a bale in these parts (Washington DC environs) 
Blame it on the horses.

I'm wondering if it's a waste of time to mulch garlic with big bale 
mulch hay. Works good on spuds, but with its solid stems I don't know 
that it would insulate well enough for over wintering garlic.

And, what about this: fresh daily litter from horse stables. Probably 
woodchip based, but with plenty of urine and bisquits (but not 
loaded: really changed daily from small stalls) Too much carbon? Too 
much nitrogen? I wonder how much of either by the time growth REALLY 
starts for the garlic in the spring.

Thanks

-Allan

>I don't know that there's a bad place in rotation for garlic as long 
>as the soil is nitrogen rich, drains well, and isn't too sandy.  I've 
>read that one shouldn't plant it where there is any indication of 
>fusarium, but I've never seen it on our farm, so I can't say.  For 
>the same reason, I've heard it recommended not to follow grass family 
>crops, which are prone to fusarium.   But, many garlic growers, 
>including me, mulch with grasses like oat straw (I use chopped 
>cornstalks).
>
>I suppose intensely planted garlic will deplete nitrogen, but 
>probably nothing that some manure/compost won't remedy.
>
>I've only been growing garlic four years now (1/4 - 1/3 acre), and 
>haven't planted it in the same place twice - and probably won't for 
>the foreseeable future.
>
>Our planting, too, has been hampered by wet conditions, and time is 
>getting short up here.  Praying for dry!
>
>Jerry Ford
>Howard Lake, MN
>zone 3/4
>
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