KISS: Keep it Simple, Silly
To blog or not to blog? To plant or not to plant? Questions that used to seem simple to me, have taken on more weight in this time of COVID. Things that used to feel light and fun, seem dry and daunting.
I finally got over my mental block today. I took the cloves from a “Brown Rose” garlic bulb that I bought at the farmer’s market this past season and stuck them in the ground. The “vendor” told me that this was his favorite garlic because of its spicy flavor and its ease to peel. He was right, I love the flavor and it’s a breeze to sleeve.
He also mentioned it was easy to grow. Just throw a few of the cloves in the garden before the ground freezes and I’d have my own crop next summer
What’s so hard about that?
I don’t know about you, but when the pandemic first sidelined all of us, I took advantage of the extra time and actually finished a book project I’d been working on for years. Then I focused on helping my shut-in mom. And then, I just kind of got in a rut. I did my summer gardening and finished some landscape projects, but the uncertainty of the future has a way of robbing the present. Rather than look forward to new projects and blogging about them, I somehow lost the excitement and the anticipation that nature has always stirred in me.
It has felt as though somewhere in the mask wearing and distancing, it got easier to stay distant. And distance has a way of growing, not shrinking.
There’s only one cure – dig in!
Looking back to when I began this blog three years ago, my first post was titled: “Plant hope, Grow faith.” Or in other words: Plant nothing, grow nothing. The Bible puts it even simpler: sow sparingly, reap sparingly.
So when a friend asked me to send her some pictures of my garlic planting, I decided it was time to get to planting more than just those tasty cloves. It’s time to reach out to you, my garden peeps. I’m sure you’ve had more time to be outside then ever before. Whether you’ve been gardening, hiking, walking, or “scalloping” (Susan W.), the biggest multiplier is to share the fun – even if at a distance. There’s just something magical that happens when we share our successes, our crops, our recipes and our hearts. Even when we share our failures. We grow in ways we never planned.
If you have some garlic cloves lying in the bottom of your vegetable bin – even those papery white ones - I want to inspire you today to pull a few cloves off and find a place in the garden to give winter planting a try. It’s almost too easy. Depending on where you live, the time to plant is approximately four to six weeks before your ground typically freezes for the winter. The idea is to give the cloves time to develop root growth & establishment before the ground freezes with a minimum of top growth.
I just cleared out my summer garden plot and spaded a trench 2"-3" deep. The experts recommend to have at least 1" of soil covering the clove with the "point" of the clove up. Keep the bulbs a good 6” apart to yield larger bulbs. Before it freezes, cover with a layer of mulch: 2"-3" of chopped straw or loose straw or CHOPPED leaves. (DO NOT use leaves unless you chop them first!)
Let’s not let this crazy year get away from us. Come what may - with the virus, the politics, the sun, moon and stars – there is a truth that is bigger than us::
“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. ”
2 Corinthians 9:6
If you didn't get the chance to read an earlier post about "sharing" her garlic by my friend, Mary Cotton Richards, click here. And here’s some more advice for how to help your bulbs grow big and fat next spring from the “hardneck garlic” website.