My reader and her husband purchased a farm in this area about six years ago. The land had been damaged by conventional farming. They’ve put the emphasis on cover crops to return much needed “life” to the soil and have done other things like mulching when they felt they could.
As you might imagine, this is a big undertaking. Since they, like most of us, don’t have unlimited resources, they can’t always put into practice everything they want to do.
One of the crops they grow to sell is garlic.
Last fall they planted one field without mulch and one field with mulch (straw) as a test.
When she visited me earlier in the year (garlic bulbs were still small but starting to grow) she was excited to show me some garlic that had been pulled early to see what was happening beneath ground. The smallest bulb was from the field that was not mulched. The larger bulb was from the mulched field.
Visiting again after the harvest in June, she brought fully mature samples to show me. I was just amazed. Remember now — we’re talking an entire field of garlic all showing this drastic difference.
If you’re not already mulching your garlic crop, why not give it and try and see the difference it makes.
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