Fall is the best time to plant garlic, and I’ve had varied success with it in the past. This past Spring, I let the chickens in the garden area to do their thing, and unfortunately, they dug up a number of the garlic bulbs I had planted the previous Fall, resulting in a much lower than expected amount of garlic at harvest time.
The picture is from this Fall’s garlic planting and you can see how curious the chickens are after spotting the cloves lying on the ground. I had to keep shooing them away so they didn’t mess with the garlic.
I laid out the cloves on top of the ground so they would be properly spaced. I ended up planting an entire 4×4 foot bed with garlic and half of another one before I used up the six heads of garlic I had ordered.
This is what the garden bed looked like before I planted the garlic. I just poked a hole in the soil with my finger, put the clove in the hole, and covered it with soil. When the entire bed was planted, I covered it with a two-inch layer of compost. I did the same process for the half a bed planted with garlic. I have more garlic on order, which will finish the half bed and likely fill another 4×4 foot bed.
I put a plastic fence around the bed I planted, using two metal posts to keep it semi-upright, and keep my garden “helpers” out. I laid the fence on the second bed to keep them from scratching the freshly planted garlic and will surround the bed with it once I’m finished planting it.
The chickens do a great job of cleaning up any veggies that may have landed in the garden beds or walkways, and help break up the soil in other beds. It’s quite entertaining to watch them scratch and dig around the garden, even if they make a mess at times. Yesterday, I dumped some compost on a bed, and let them scratch and peck in it, resulting in a garden bed evenly covered with compost. They are good garden workers, and also give me eggs