What a difference a month makes. Our garlic is well on the way with our largest plants growing to over 16 inches at this time. We continue to focus on producing the best product we can. We had our soil tested last month, and typical of many west coast soils that loose nitrogen due to the heavy rain fall, we found that our soil had all the necessary nutrients but it was low in nitrogen. We used an organic fish fertilizer to help rectify the nitrogen shortage and we have had good results since the first application.
April has been a busy month between weeding and tending this year's crop. We pay a lot of attention to any weak looking plants and carefully remove them as a preventative measure against any possible disease that might have the potential of spreading. We have also taken the view that a small or deformed plant will likely produce a bulb of inferior size, and we might as well cull this during the growth season.
An important part of garlic farming is to prepare your fields for next years planting in advance. It is important not to plant garlic in the same fields for at least 4 years to minimize the spread of any diseases such as white mold. We rototilled a field planted with grasses and clover this month as the first stage of preparation for planting this fall, and applied well composted manure to improve the organic quality of the soil.