Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Planting Garlic Cockeyed Style

I bought heads of garlic from the store this week. The bulbs were on sale for 5/$1 so the price was right. I bought twenty heads. Twenty??!! Yes, twenty. I hear ya. That's a whole lot of garlic. You must really love it. We do but I had other plans to justify this mad purchase. First let me say that, these heads were gorgeous! Firm, plump cloves in a tight bulb, unlike garlic that has been sitting around for a while.

I broke all but two heads into cloves. The two full heads would be used for cooking in the next few weeks. Ten heads were sliced on my mandolin, and put into the dehydrator for garlic powder later. The remaining eight heads of garlic cloves went into a baggie. These were destined for planting in the orchard.

This week I loaded the pull behind cart for the yard tractor with compost. Neat trick single handed, but I accomplished it. It was time to side dress/aka fertilize the fruit trees and bushes before their long winter's dormancy. I tossed my thrift store find of an old military folding shovel on top of the pile, the baggie of garlic cloves, and headed for the orchard.

I also had all the skins peeled from the heads in a paper bag. I could have dumped it all in the new compost pile, but figured it could also compost in place over winter in the orchard too. The extra garlic smell would deter deer and several other critters away from my young trees and bushes. In this bag I also had cayenne and various other pepper seeds. There is a method to my madness just keep reading.

Down in the orchard, I shoveled and raked in the compost around the tree trunks in about three foot circumference. This is the first year for these trees on our property so three feet is good. Next year, I'll do six feet to catch the feeder roots. I use my index finger's first joint to measure down a small hole in the compost about an inch (or there about) down. I push in a garlic clove pointy side up. Moving over about a foot and plant another. I did this all the way around the tree. Then, I eyeballed six inches, the breadth of my hand from the tip of my pinky finger to the tip of my thumb is six inches out stretched, and planted a clove in between where I planted the previous row. Yes, I know garlic can be planted six inches apart. I covered up all the cloves and moved to the next tree and repeated the process. I sprinkled the whole area with the pepper seeds and garlic skins. All this will be covered with hay/straw mulch next month. We'll let Mother Nature water it all in.

By spring thaw, the bulbs and seeds should germinate giving me a jump start on harvesting. The seeds will know the optimum time to grow as the soil warms. While an abundant harvest of garlic would be sweet, I really don't expect the garlic to do much this year. I'll let most of it go to seed. My main purpose for planting this much garlic is to use it as a varmint (squirrels, rabbits,deer, etc) and organic pest (moths, flies, mosquitoes, etc) control.

I repeated this around the raspberry, blueberry, and grapes except the initial circumference was one foot around the bases of the plants. It has taken me all week to do this, but it's done. In the spring, we'll be sowing more wheat, barley and orchard grass in the orchard too.

That's it for this week.
Y'all have a blessed day.


  1. Another timely post! I read somewhere that garlic is a good companion to fruit trees, but have never tried it. You've got me thinking that I shoud.. I've got some planted in garden beds, but I should try around my fruit trees.


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