Newbies

This year has launched into full swing-  no messing around. I’m working hard on all things dance and feeling great though. The weather has been so cold but so many days have been sunny and fresh – perfect winter weather in my books. Therefore I’ve been craving a day when I’m not working and I can spend a few hours in my boots in the garden with the sun. This weekend was that time!

Last year I was so excited about growing new things in 2017, that I was super organised, and ahead of time purchased some garlic for January (although there was delivery problems and I’ve had to wait until February). I eat at least 2 cloves with every dinner, therefore having it growing my garden makes perfect sense. This is my first trial of the year and I’m excited to get growing and harvesting some great new additions.

From my research garlic seems to be pretty straight forward and simple to grow, with not many diseases or specific needs. I’m trying the variety called Germidour from Thompson and Morgan. Their website describes it as “Well-known and reliable…that is well adapted to British conditions. This softneck variety produces large, white bulbs with a mild but still rich flavour”, so I’m hoping it lives up to it’s expectations!

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I got to work preparing the ground. I know that garlic needs a position of full sun so picked the end of my veggie patch to try it in. It’s normally where my tomatoes would go, but I’m trying them in grow bags this year instead to create more room for my newbies. I’ve added in plenty of fresh compost and raked over the ground so it’s even.

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I’ve started by separating the bulb into cloves and made sure to space evenly as I go. Following the instructions I planted them at 2cm depth and 10cm apart, in rows of 45cm apart.

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Another newbie I’m focusing on is Onions. As with my garlic, it’s a staple in our home and used nearly every recipe. The variety I’m planting is Onion Hercules, described as “…producing large, almost round, well flavoured bulbs with attractive dark golden brown skins. Onion ‘Hercules’ has been noted for its outstanding performance in RHS assessment trials, winning an RHS Award of Garden Merit. An excellent early or mid season variety that stores well” – Anything that wins in RHS’s books, wins in mine!

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I chose to plant my onions next door to the garlic so they also get full sun. The onions don’t need to be planted as far down in the soil, so I buried them with their tops just about poking through the soil. They were roughly 10cm apart, with closer rows than the garlic. I’ve learnt to keep to the instructions and was keen with my tape measure this year.

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Because of the garlic being delivered a little late and not having too much time on my hands at the moment, I planted the garlic late and the onions a month early. We’ll see how they get on in the next few months to come.

It was so lovely to be out in the fresh air getting back into the swing of things. Whilst I was busy sorting everything Matt surprised me with a mid-dig coffee; what a cutie.

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I’m really excited to harvest and store my own staples this year! Keep your fingers crossed folks!

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