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Newsletter: October 14, 2021

Fall harvest festival event: Monmouth University’s school of social work & occupational therapy are hosting a fall festival for all on October 22nd from 4 – 6 pm at the garden. It will consist of inter-generational events, games, snacks, and fall activities.

This Week

We harvested winter squash, swiss chard, beets, and peppers. Garden beds 7a, 9a, 9b, 11a, 11b, 13a, 13b, 19a, and 19b have been seeded with field peas. This is the first step in building healthier soils.

Friday: turn compost, irrigate the cover crop beds from above, and harvest sweet potatoes in garden bed 28b and figs!

Next Week

Monday priorities: 4 pm to 6 pm

  • Clean up back fence
  • Begin to organize shed
  • Prune cherry tree

Friday priorities: 9 am to 12 pm

  • Compost!!
  • Weed the front flower beds.

Vegetable of the Week: Garlic

Clove Depth: 2-3″
Clove Spacing: 6″
Hardneck cloves per bulb: 5-10
Hardneck cloves per pound: 40-65
Softneck cloves per bulb: 6-18
Softneck cloves per pound: 50-90

Folklore is rife with tales of garlic’s ability to bestow strength and courage, treat a vast array of disease and infections, and to ward off evil. Modern day medicine has shown this remarkable food to be powerfully effective at boosting the immune system, supporting cardiovascular health, and fighting cancer.

Hardneck Garlic: Allium sativum subsp. ophioscorodon Cloves grow in a single circle around a central woody stem. These varieties also produce, or attempt to produce, a flower-like stalk. What makes these garlics stand out is the range and quality of flavors they exhibit. Hardneck garlics typically have a shorter storage life than softnecks.

Softneck Garlic: Allium sativum subsp. sativum These varieties produce cloves in several layers around a soft central stem. Approximate cloves per pound can vary based on seasonal conditions and the variety. These easy-to-grow garlics are excellent in the kitchen and usually have the best storage qualities. Great for braiding.


  • Garlic thrives in rich, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0-7.0
  • Work in 1 inch layer of compost, 1/2 cup of bone meal, 1/2 cup fertilizer per 5 row feet
  • When spring growth begins: water to keep the soil slightly moist, and fertilize
  • As harvest approaches: water less to avoid molding or staining
  • Hardnecks: cut off any flowering stems (scapes) at the top leaf to redirect energy to the bulb; scapes can be used like green onions

Direct Sowing

  • In Northern regions, garlic is best planted by the end of October, or 6-8 weeks before the ground freezes
  • Southern regions may plant as late as March
  • Separate the cloves of garlic just prior to planting, keeping as much skin on as possible
  • Plant cloves pointed end up
  • Mulch with clean straw or leaves to 4 inches

Harvest & Storage

  • Harvest when the top 4-5 leaves are slightly green and lower leaves are dry
  • Begin checking for mature bulbs in late June
  • Each green leaf represents one layer of covering over the bulb in the ground
  • Tie the plants in small bundles and dry in a cool, shaded, well-ventilated location for about 3-4 weeks
  • After curing is done, cut foliage and roots from bulbs and store in mesh bags
  • Softnecks: you can keep leaves on and braid the whole plant

Workday Task List


  • Perimeter of fence (inside and outside)
  • Shed and Compost areas
  • Perimeter of communal raised beds
  • Pollinator beds outside fenced area

Cleaning and Organizing

  • Communal materials
  • Shed
  • Tools

General Maintenance

  • Pulling dead plants and crops
  • Repairing Hoses and Irrigation lines
  • Repair and maintain rain barrel
  • Repairing fence

Seasonal or As needed

  • Soil installation
  • Woodchip/mulch installation
  • Harvesting crops
  • Irrigating pollinator beds