KTOO listener Carole P. writes: “This fall is so unusually warm. When should I plant the garlic?”
Master Gardener Ed Buyarski said he’ll actually be planting garlic this weekend, even if it stays mild for the next few months. But he said anytime before the ground freezes in October is ideal.
First, he suggests seed hardneck garlic — not the typical California softneck garlic found in grocery stores — as the best type for Alaska gardens.
Gently break the garlic bulbs into individual cloves, and set aside the small cloves for cooking instead of planting.
Plant the biggest cloves in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny location. They should be planted about 2 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart with each clove’s pointy end up.
“It is a fairly heavy feeder,” Buyarski said. “Working in compost and organic fertilizer into the soil before planting really is an important item.”
Gently cover the cloves with soil and then add a layer of compost or seaweed. Adding a layer of plastic on top will prevent the soil from becoming too wet during the fall rains.
Ideally, Buyarski said garlic should not sprout in December or January. That’s too soon.
Adding mulch and then covering with spruce or hemlock boughs may provide enough ground insulation to prevent the ground from repeated freezing and thawing, and keep the garlic on schedule for sprouting in March or April.
Listen to the Sept. 28 edition of Gardentalk about garlic planting:
Listeners have also asked for links to seasonally-sensitive episodes of Gardentalk that recently aired. Click on the link to bring up the page for that particular segment.
Under a new pilot program, several Anchorage elementary schools will have longer lunch and recess next fallThis fall, several Anchorage elementary schools will have longer lunches and recesses. It's part of a pilot program that the school district is rolling out in an effort to better meet students' needs for good nutrition and exercise.
- Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office is considering sites in the Mat-Su Borough and elsewhere on the road system for a possible second special session, according to spokesperson Matt Shuckerow.
- Researchers are trying to determine the cause of a gray whale die-off along the West Coast, including Alaska. And they're looking at whether recent warming trends in the Arctic, and reduced sea ice, have affected their prey.
- Papua New Guinea-based company Oil Search announced Thursday it received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for its Pikka development, planned west of Prudhoe Bay.