Getting ready for garlic

New garlic plot

Home for next year’s garlic, carved out of the oats yesterday, is looking good! Mow the oats (the riding mower got a good workout and did a reasonable job), spread aged cow manure from the barnyard, and rototill in with the Kubota compact tractor. Simple! What sight is sweeter than a rich, freshly turned new garden plot, ready for another round?! :)

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7 thoughts on “Getting ready for garlic”

  1. Your use of cover crops looks fantastic. My wife and I are thinking of using oats as a cover crop/green manure in our garden. However, from the looks of your photo we are wondering if it may be a bit too much for our 4×8 raised beds. Is there another way to utilize oats without having to use a tiller to turn them in? We were hoping to simply cut them down and turn them in with a garden fork, but it looks like they might be too dense. If we didn’t sow them as thick would they be as effective? Thanks for your help.

  2. Took some time today to read over your recent posts.
    I’ve bookmarked your blog and find it inspiring and
    appreciate your work to share your progress and experience.

    My wife and I have four children and are working a
    vegetable garden. We home school and make it a family affair
    and the garden is a hands on education for all of us.

    I enjoy your blog!

    -Travis
    Nashville, TN

  3. Hey Kelly: Yeah, the oats looks mighty lush, which it is! But you don’t have to let it get that high and dense, you can always cut it back or turn it under whenever you like, so no need to worry about it getting out of control. I wasn’t expecting that much growth, figured frost would’ve killed it by now…but there’s this crazy weather (it was around 25°C/80°F today…), heat plus lots of rain. I’m using oats because it’s fast-growing (and the seed’s really inexpensive), so I can put it in newly opened sections well into the summer and still get some bulk and also smother any weeds that might show up before frost (whenever that is these days). It depends on how long your season is and when you want to put it in. There are also all the varieties of clover to look at, and for late stuff, I’ve still got my fall rye experiment going… Hope that’s of some help!

  4. Your blog is one of the best! I love the pics, so much detail. Oats and field peas are a wonderful cover crop. You can use a scythe to cut them down, did that my first year. Year two I used a flail mower attached to a BCS walking tractor. The flail mower chops the cover crop as opposed to leaving it in whole stalks. The flail mower will handle 6 foot rye too! Then I till it in with the tiller attachment. An option for those without a tractor.

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