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Friday, April 18, 2014

Garlic Planting, More on Mustard

A big day in the garden today. Jean is the chief Garlic planter - I'm too rough and ready. While she was away last week three panels of one of the garden beds was prepared with chopped green manure and compost. Now Jean adds Lime and Sulphate of Potash as recommended in one of the gardening books. Then the bed is gone over with a small hand fork to ensure a finer tilth. She measures out distances and lays down the first grouping of bulbs to see how they will fit without crowding. We plant a little closer than most. The soil is rich and the closeness will reduce the weeds.

There are 13 groups of Garlic to plant. The first four groups fill the three panels with 177 cloves. Jean takes a break to wash the dogs while I chop green manure in another two panels and fork in loads of compost. With the dogs done she returns to perform the final preparation and continue planting. It's obvious that she will need more panels to complete planting all 450 cloves. There is some spare space at the other end of the bed. It gets a good weeding and a really heavy application of compost. Later in the day she found herself a foot short of a finished task and dug over the last little bit herself. It was a big job this year and we are both very pleased to have completed such a large and important task.

Almost the entire bed devoted to Garlic.
When the garlic is reaching maturity the watering needs to be stopped to enable the corms to fully set. Having an almost full bed of Garlic will make it easier to stop automatic watering and hand water the couple of panels that hold other plants.

In the mean time the Broccoli needed attention. The plants had grown sufficiently large enough to allow the pesky Peacock to continue his leaf pruning over the existing mesh guards. resurrecting some tall mesh panels from storage an exclusion zone is installed.



The Orchard and Vineyard are heavy with Autumn growth and the ride on mower is given some exercise. While out and about one of the large silage one ton bales which we chainsawed into four sectors is broken up and various garden beds get a heavy application of mulch. All part of the plan to reduce watering needs next Summer.

When making mustard always use cold water/verjuice/wine/vinegar when adding to Mustard powder. There is a chemical reaction that occurs producing the pungent odour and sharp taste. If  using warm or hot liquid the burning sensation remains bur with a slight bitterness and complete lack of flavour. If you cook Mustard the pungent overtones are lost.

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