The Garden at Oswegatchie School is a sustainable organic garden where children get a hands on experience learning where their food comes from while developing an appreciation and respect for nature. The Garden will be a learning center to teach gardening as well as incorporating art, music, literature, math and science. It is a place where children are encouraged to join in and participate in the process of creating, developing and maintaining the garden!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Planting Garlic

We had our first light frost the other night, so on a last minute decision we took advantage of this warm Sunday to get the garlic planted.

Garlic is best planted from September 15th to November 30th, with the optimal time being October after a light frost.

We planted a total of 60 bulbs which include a mix of organic German Extra Hardy, Pskem River and Music garlic which I purchased from Seed Savers Exchange.

We used the biointensive method of planting, which entails spacing the plants closer in a honeycomb pattern. Planting this way allows you to grow more in less space, and reduces the need to water and weed because the closeness of plants leaves shade the ground below.

After planting the garlic we covered the bed with a few inches of leaves to hold in moisture and protect the bulbs from freezing. Once we gather more leaves from the school grounds we will add more to the beds.We then covered the bed with mesh to deter the squirrels from digging up the bulbs.

Hopefully we will grow enough garlic to give away with enough left over to save for planting next season. To learn more about planting garlic, click the image below.

While working in the garden we noticed the salad greens and parsley still thriving despite being unprotected and being exposed to the frost.

We decided to harvest some of the greens, parsley and the remaining radishes.

 We harvested a total of 2 lbs of greens plus 2-3/4 lbs of radishes. There are still plenty of salad greens and parsley left in the garden so we need to get our hoops and row covers up very soon before it really gets cold!

Activity is low in the garden now that most of the beds have been cleared after the last summer harvest, but we saw several birds feeding on the seeds from the marigolds and a couple bees basking in the warm sun in the perennial garden.

Upcoming garden projects will include:

 Building the compost bins,
Covering the greens with hoops and row covers,
Collecting leaves from the grounds to cover the planted beds,
Institute a composting program in the cafeteria,
Layout the new beds for  next years planting,
and hopefully start on the new shed and fence if our grant comes through!


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