Luv My Planet


My First Step into Small-Scale Gardening

Posted in Food, Gardening, & Agriculture,Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 24/09/2010

Today, I planted my first clove of garlic and thus took my first step into urban agriculture. We’ll see how it turns out from here.

The reason that I am beginning with garlic is its status as an easy edible plant to grow — even for brown thumbs like me. I was careful to conduct research and follow advice from gardeners and farmers in my area. (Different plant hardiness zones call for different planting times.)

It is important to soak each garlic clove in a water and baking soda mixture over night to kill any fungus. The general rule of thumb is 2TB of baking soda to 1 gallon of water. After removing the clove from the mixture, soak it in 100 proof vodka or rubbing alcohol for three to four minutes. Then, remove the skin so that all energy is spent on actually growing (as opposed to shedding the skin). Now, it is time to plant the clove. Make sure the clove is rough side down. How deeply you plant the clove depends on your hardiness zone.

Because I have limited outdoor space, I am growing my garlic in half-gallon almond milk containers. Before adding anything to the containers, I punctured a hole in the bottom for drainage. To weigh the containers down, I placed glass “rocks” in the bottom. Luckily, I already had some nutrient-rich soil on hand, and I am using corn husks and dried leaves for mulch. To keep the critters away, I have taped an old CD to an old umbrella rib. When the sun rays (or security lights during the nighttime hours) hit the CD, it creates a glare that deters birds, squirrels, and raccoons. As a further measure, I have stapled an old fruit net bag to the top. (This, of course, will be removed once sprouting becomes noticeable.)

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