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Garlic Mulching

Garlic and Mulch – A Reader’s Experience

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.

Garlic in the mulched field before harvest.

Garlic in part of the farm’s mulched field close to harvest time.

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.

bulb on the left is from the unmulched field; one on the right from the mulched field. The egg is for size comparison.

The bulb on the left is from the unmulched field; one on the right, from the mulched field. The egg is for size comparison.

 

Garlic curing.

Garlic curing on the set up that her husband made.

 

Garlic curing.

A closer view of the garlic curing.

Final Thoughts

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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