Or somewhat, a Story of Two Garlic BEDS.
This yr, I didn’t plant as a lot garlic as I’ve in years previous. The children are each at school, and whereas Tom and I are very keen on garlic and cook dinner with it practically each night time, making two parts somewhat than 4 has modified my planting schemes significantly (for each crop, not simply garlic). I made a decision to place the garlic in our two fire-ring beds this winter and see the way it labored out.
Final summer season, one in every of these beds held basil (a riotous overflowing ample crop of basil!), and the opposite held cilantro – which grew, then shortly flowered, and set seed, as cilantro tends to do. Final winter, each of those beds held candy pea flowers.
I planted the garlic cloves in each beds on the similar time this previous October. Each get the identical quantity of drip irrigation. Each have very comparable situations concerning solar publicity, notably in winter when our chitalpa tree loses its leaves. However the garlic crop in a single mattress is far greener, and far additional alongside, than the opposite.
The highest mattress held the basil, which I both harvested earlier than it had an opportunity to set seed, or did set seed however hasn’t germinated, as a result of it merely can’t in chilly temperatures. The underside mattress has its third or fourth crop of cilantro at this level, as a result of it undoubtedly set seed, and it can germinate effectively in cooler temps.
The cilantro mattress not solely appears to be like prettier, full and ample and wealthy, the garlic can be additional alongside, taller and greener than the basil mattress. The soil on this mattress can be darker and richer than the soil within the basil mattress.
What’s happening right here? It’s all all the way down to the great synergy that occurs when two or extra crops develop collectively. One would possibly suppose that the garlic rising alone would do higher – in any case, it has no competitors for vitamins, mild, or water – however that’s clearly not the case.
The mattress with each garlic and cilantro is doing so effectively as a result of the 2 species are sharing sources. Mycelium (strands of fungi) are connecting between the roots of the crops, and are shuttling sources between the 2. Much more importantly, the garlic and cilantro are feeding two totally different colonies of microbiota within the soil. Every is photosynthesizing and pumping sugars down by way of their root techniques to feed all of the microscopic critters, and which means double the meals. It’s additionally doubtless that particular species present as much as eat from the roots of every form of plant. It’s an attractive symbiosis that ends in TWO nice crops, somewhat than only one.
My guess is that I’m going to have the ability to harvest the garlic that’s rising with the cilantro earlier than the one within the outdated basil mattress. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see if my speculation is appropriate.