Thanks to Julia, who’s keeping a keen eye on our fundraising garlic. The first lot is well and truly up, nice, and even, and healthy. The second lot will take a little longer (it hadn’t started to sprout, and it’s a long keeper).
The first lot will need a mulch very soon. I tested Ron and Julia’s grape ‘wastes’ (the residues after winemaking) for pH, worried that it may be a bit too acidic. Interesting results. The newer, quite purplish stuff is certainly acidic at 4 to 4.5 (that’s really acidic, but maybe also a cheaper, economic alternative, to adding elemental Sulphur to change the pH of alkaline soils? Hint.)
The really older stuff, way up the back, blackened, was around 6-ish. This is good; an ideal pH would be around 6.5. But it depends. See this earlier link about soil pH – different levels mean different elements become available for plants. So, perhaps the black stuff for the garlic, and soon.
P’raps after our Membership and Birthday this Sunday anyway. Just another Hint.
Taking a soil pH test is not too complex and very well worth it. On my block I need to reduce the pH by around 1 unit which actually means quite a heap of lime. Native plants aren’t used to low pH/acid conditions, for a start, if you want to encourage them. Weeds can be indicators of soil conditions. Our garden has a pH test kit, Rosemary has it at the moment. Ask her on Sunday.