Companion Planting

Raised Bed Plan – Garlic, Spinach (and Jerusalem Artichokes..)

Raised Bed Plan – Garlic 
Most of my Garden Beds in 2017 Garden Plan produces 3 batches of vegetables during one season. This Raised Bed is one of the exceptions. This Bed only holds Garlic and later a quick Spinach batch before it’s time to prepare next years crops: Jerusalem Artichokes/Sunchokes.

First batch:

  • Garlic

Second batch:

  • Spinach

Third batch:

  • Prepare for next years Jerusalem Artichokes (=Sunchokes)

Why these crops?
I have experimented a bit with Garlic companions (grew them with Wild Strawberries last season), but have decided to do a plain Garlic Bed this year. One of the reasons is that I find nutrients a bit tricky. I usually don’t add grass clippings to Garlic, since they don’t seem to like it as much as my other vegetables. 

Spinach is a quick second batch. Jerusalem Artichokes comes next in the Crop Rotation plan.

3b = This bed is in the “Needs Less” Quarter in my Crop Rotation Plan. According to my planning, this will be the Jerusalem Artichoke bed for next year, so I will plant Artichoke Bulbs in this bed after Garlic is done. 

It is one out of Several Garden Beds (29 when I’m writing this, but tends to be more and more each season…) See the total list of beds and Layout in my Garden Plan for Raised Beds 2017.

Time Plan for this Bed
This is a Bed that is started already previous autumn, so since this is the plan for 2017, I will start this bed in October 2016 (=very soon when I’m writing this). It’s OK to start soon, since it’s following the bed “2a Swiss Chard” that has been Empty since October according to 2017 Garden Plan.

The dates will depend a lot on where you live, and what average temperatures and sunny hours you have at different months. I’m in Northern Europe and this is the Plan I follow:

October – end of: 

  • Add Chicken Manure to the Garlic Bed. I add approximately 300 grams of manure to a Raised Bed that is 80×120 centimeter.
  • Plant Garlic Bulbs (I plant 48 in one Bed)

August – beginning:

  • Start harvest Garlic to eat fresh
  • Start Spinach indoors

August – end: 

  • Harvest the rest of the Garlic for winter saving
  • Add Cow Manure to the Bed
  • Plant Spinach Plant in the Bed
  • Cover with plastic if weather gets cold

October- end:

  • Harvest Spinach
  • Add Compost to the Bed
  • Plant Jerusalem Artichoke Bulbs for next growing season, cover with leaves and/or Grass Clippings or whatever organic material you have.

My Kitchen Garden is built with a modular approach. I have a number of Raised Beds (Deep Beds) – currently 29 beds. Most of them are 120×80 centimeters. They are Deep Beds and I always cover them with Organic Material to improve soil and nutrients, and also have a No Dig Garden. More background information can be found in these posts:

Methods I use to plan each Garden Bed
I plan each bed carefully and enjoy making and developing my plans. I try to consider different angles:
– Succession Planting: I want to have at least 3 batches from each bed to maximize my harvest
– Crop Rotation: I rotate my basic crops each year to eliminate diseases. I have a 4 year Crop Rotation Plan (more about my Crop Rotation Plan here).
– Companion Planting: I want each batch to consist of Plants that thrive together to get good harvest and keep the plants healthy.
– Continuous Harvest: I want to be able to harvest from early spring to late autumn without having to preserve too much food. We prefer to eat all the vegetables as fresh as possible.

Don’t hesitate to discuss the planning of this bed with me. There is always loads of input that can help improving this further.

Update, 24th of October

And the Garlic Bed is started! I ordered the Garlic Heads a few weeks ago and have eagerly been waiting for the weather to get cold enough to plant them. I don’t want them to start growing already and to show above ground when the weather gets freezing, so I’ve been waiting for temperatures around a few degrees Celsius. 

Growing Garlic is very rewarding. Minimum work, great to use and easy to store all year if you need to. I’ve dedicated one full Raised Bed to Garlic. I’d love to grow more Garlic, but this will still give me plenty of Garlic to use fresh and to store for Autumn and Winter. 

This is the Raised Bed that will be dedicated for Garlic. It has an automatic watering system (drip system), but it is turned off already which is good for Garlic. The autumns are pretty rainy here and I donĀ“t want them to decompose due to overwatering or rainy weather.

Before I start planting I add Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed. As long as I add nutrients when I plant, the Garlic Bulbs are usually growing fine during the rest of the season and only need a little bit of nutrients added later when the spring comes. Chicken Manure pellets are concentrated and it’s easy to overdose (it doesn’t look that much..). So I use my Garden Scale to make sure that I don’t add to much. 300 grams is good for one Raised Bed that is 120×80 cm.

Since my Raised Beds are Deep Beds with plenty of depth for the Roots to grow, I can grow vegetables slightly closer to each other than the general recommendation. I plant my Garlic Bulbs 15 cm apart, which gives me about ~50 Bulbs in one Raised Bed. I bought these 4 Garlics to use for planting. It’s varieties Sabadrome and Sprint. They are virus controlled and both are Early Garlics and are suitable for Garlic Braiding (I usually never have the time and end up storing them in a Paper Box on the refrigerator.. but still I don’t want to rule it out..)

Then I simply Place the Garlic Cloves in the Raised Bed like this, and push them ~10 cm into the soil.

Finally I cover the Bed with Leaves (no need for Grass Clippings when I grow Garlic) and let it rest over the Winter.

Update, 7th of January

I planted my Garlic quite late in the Autumn and thought that my late planting would make sure that the Garlic Cloves would rest under ground all Winter and safely sprout in the Spring. I noticed today that some of the planted Garlic has started to sprout already during the Autumn and are now showing above the leaf mulch. The poor Garlic Sprouts look freezing in the Winter cold. It’s better if they rest all spring and don’t start growing until spring, but they are usually fine even though they start growing in the Autumn. Fingers crossed.

Update, 15th of January

The Garlic Sprouts are still going strong even with more Snow.

Update, 26th of March

Snow has melted, spring is here, and Garlic is growing. I have two varieties of Garlic in this Raised Bed. The early Garlic variety is growing rapidly right now. The late Garlic is still resting below the covering leaves.

Update, 30th of May

Garlic update. Looking good! I will add grass clippings this weekend.

Update, 25th of june

Garlic bed. I will for sure have more of them next season. Only thing depressive about them is that they require absolutely no care once they are in the ground. Just some grass clippings during the season..

Update, 11th of September

Garlic is harvested, and I’m happy with the result!

I have two different varieties:

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