Yesterday was the day to finally get my garlic in. I like to plant the last week of October if I can. When I finished curing my garlic at the end of July I made three piles. The first was the damaged or slightly open bulbs. They were to use up first. I still haven't gotten through them. The second pile was made from the largest and most beautiful bulbs of garlic. These were what I used yesterday. I take the very best from the last harvest and use them to grow next year's garlic. The last pile of course is the garlic that will store through the winter.
The garlic I plant is German Extra Hardy. It makes large bulbs with large cloves. When I first planted it, it only made four cloves in each bulb. But as it has grown out more I've found ones that have made more cloves. I like the ones with more cloves better. That way I get both big and small cloves, which makes for better choices when I cook. And I don't have to replant a quarter of my garlic every year. I do love the variety. It is a porcelain hardneck. It gives me scapes every spring and the bulbs will last the whole year until the next harvest is ready. It is an excellent keeper. I used to have other varieties, but over time I've come to only plant this one. When I came to this house I brought two varieties with me that did well at the last house, but German Extra Hardy seems to resist the diseases in my soil better, so it is the sole survivor.
Today I finished off sifting the leaf mold which was a pressing chore as I needed the bin to collect fall leaves. I covered three more half beds with about an inch of leaf mold. I have three additional half beds that need to be done before winter. I have found that my compost piles freeze solid over the winter and don't thaw out as quickly in the spring as the beds do. So I always spread compost over the beds that will have spring crops. It just makes my life easier. I do have enough compost for this chore as I have some real compost I made earlier in the year. I'm guessing it will fill the beds that I need and maybe a bit more. The compost is pretty weedy though. It has tons of seed from dill, cilantro, jump-ups, and the like. Basically all the plants that I've let go to seed in the garden. I should have used this for one area I put leaf mold into. I want dill to come up there next year. I might have to seed it instead. Usually I just put the compost in the right spot and voila, instant herbs. Or a lot of weeding out of those herbs in the other beds.