Let’s face it, I know way more about cooking and eating garlic than I do about growing that luscious bulb. However, I figured it was about high time I learned how to grow my own garlic for seed and to make my own organic garlic powder.
Whenever it has come to learning anything whether that be a programming language, plumbing or a foreign language, my approach has always been to do a little research and then dive right in to the objective. Of course this usually results in my breaking code , offending people, or causing some sort of physical pain to myself. That is how I roll – get in there and figure out how to do it or figure out how to fix what you just effed up.
I currently live in a town home, so the only options I have for planting garlic are in small containers or to build my own “Garlic Box of Awesomeness” (GBoA). The said box of awesomeness would be raised and large enough to plant 30 or so cloves of garlic but not so large as to take up my whole deck. So off to do my research I went.
I got some great tips on growing garlic from some of my new internet acquaintances by checking out their websites:
I hit the almighty Google for raised garden bed designs and finally came to a design I liked here and then adjusted for the configuration I needed for my deck. The dimensions I made the box were 24 inches High x 24 inches Wide x 48 inches Long. I used entirely red cedar wood for the lack of chemicals and the way the wood weathers nicely.
Wood Supplies consisted of:
9 – 3/4 in x 4 in x 8 ft cedar boards
2 – 3/4 in x 2 in x 8 ft cedar boards
Below are some pictures of the progress and final product. As a note it always helps to have your five year old daughter as a helper for the project!
Just like in cooking where it helps to Mise en place your ingredients, it always helps to have your project tools and supplies laid out and ready. This way you can easily tell if you have all necessary items to complete the project.
Pre-cutting your wood to the various sizes you need makes the project go much faster. Cedar is a very soft wood. Pre-drilling the holes for screws will ensure that the wood does not crack when tightening.
Two and a half hours later we had the box finished (celebrated with high fives with the daughter). I was very pleased with the end result. The slats on the bottom are not secured and can be removed or situated to allow for more drainage on the bottom.
Since we do live in a town home, the wife was adamant the the box of awesomeness did not make a mess on our deck. Perhaps she still has mental pictures of some of my past projects gone awry? Whatever. So to aleviate her concerns, I lined the box with weed guard. This will allow water to drain through the bottom while keeping the dirt in the box and off the deck.
Super happy with the final results. The final planting depth was about 10 inches – which should be adequate for teh garlics to grow. I purchased organic soil for vegetables to fill up the box. For the garlic seed, I had some Italian Purple (artichoke variety) and also obtained some Spanish Roja. The individual cloves where planted with at least four inches of space on all sides. So the garlic growing experiment has started – Hopefully I got things semi-correct and I will obviously post pics of the growth progress. Or if I screwed it up I’ll post pics of the box of awesomeness simply filled with soil 🙂