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Garlic is UP! and Much about Mulch — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your imput . I am planting my garlic in a deep 24″ raised bed and have been hesitant to mulch….I can not mulch with confidence now .

    • I have again revised my thinking on the mulch debate. We are just across the water from you (Sequim / Port Angeles), so our climates are really similar, although we get less rain here in Sequim. Still, both of our winters can be SO wet; the wind can easily blow a light mulch away; and the summers can be SO dry. I have been experimenting with a light mulch. I think the trick is knowing when to apply it (and how much), when to remove it, and when to put it back on. I’ve had success when I apply a light mulch to moderate the freeze/thaw cycle over the winter, remove it in the early spring when things need to warm up and dry out, and then in summer, when we go day after day with no rain in sight, reapply it lightly just to keep the soil cool & prevent it from getting too crusty. In my experience, though, a heavy mulch is sure to bring voles, slugs & bugs, and molds. This year, I set up an automated drip-line system to even out the watering and guess what – it failed. By the time I realized it wasn’t working, things got really dry, and then when I fixed it, they got too wet. So keeping that moisture right, the soil loose & with the right nutrients, and the weeds out, are all pretty key. I have to say, though, the year I applied a heavy straw mulch, I had a total fail. My garlic did best when I built my beds the year before, didn’t apply mulch at all, and watered by hand so I could keep an eye on things. I just grow for our own use now. I no longer have room for a large monocrop. Best of luck to you, Jan – hope your garlic exceeds expectations!

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