I’ve said several times that I’m not going to plant anything new in the orchard until next year, that I’ll just continue to grow vegetables in containers as I get to know the space and what’s already there. However, I have just made one small but important exception – garlic.
Garlic and chives are both said to make good companion plants for fruit trees like plums and pears, as they deter diseases. Plus, G LOVES the stuff – I actually can’t eat it due to food intolerances, but I love the smell of frying garlic – and he already has plans for garlic bread, pastas and pizzas if we get a good harvest.
I’d also been planning on buying a membership with The Diggers Club (please note that this is not a sponsored post) and they recently had an offer where if you bought a membership within a certain period (now expired I believe, I think I got it on the last day) you received two heads of garlic. So I decided to take this up and give our orchard a garlic hit.
Two heads of ‘Melbourne Market’ arrived in the post soon after, along with my Welcome seeds and magazines. I decided to keep them in the fridge until I had time to plant them – I’ve done this with other bulbs in the past, so it seemed like a good idea – and then took them outside yesterday morning and separated them out, keeping the papery skin on each clove.
The next step was dividing them up between the 20 assorted apples, plums, peaches, pears and apricot. I counted twice to be sure there really were 20 – that’s not counting the two citrus trees and the hazelnut trees – and thought again about all the pruning work in my future.
Starting with the peach tree near the back door, I worked my way around the garden, carefully planting two cloves near the base of each tree – one larger clove from the outside of the garlic head, and one smaller one from the inner part. I’m not sure if these smaller inner ones will be as successful in producing a crop, but hopefully the trees will still get some benefits from them.
I then planted the remaining ones near the apricot and plum near the back gate, near the peach tree beside my potting shed and in the long bed that runs next to the driveway, which contains a surprising number of apple trees. Now we just have to wait, with fingers crossed that I got the chilling and planting right… and be careful with the lawnmower!