Planting garlic in the frozen ground (…and other November adventures)

Garlic patch covered in newspaper and mulch.

Garlic patch covered in newspaper and mulch.

This fall has been much cooler than last fall. We finally had a chance to plant garlic at Blake during the second week in November, but we had to really dig through about an inch of frozen soil to do so. Hmmm… Underneath that frozen layer, the soil was nice and soft, though. And the following few days were a bit warmer, so fingers crossed. The goal with planting garlic is to have it take root a bit before the ground freezes completely… we’ll see… After planting the garlic with some grade 2/3s, I also put a layer of newspaper on top and topped that with a bit of partially composted compost. Ooo, and we gave each garlic clove a little energy-boost of vermicompost that we harvested with the same class a few weeks earlier. Here, on the right, is this year’s newly planted garlic patch.

Luckily, we at least got the garlic planted before the garden looked like this:

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The Blake Garden, under a blanket of snow. I love it! (And I’m glad the garlic went in before this…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of our delicious colourful carrots!

Some of our delicious colourful carrots!

The gardens themselves have wrapped up for the year, but I’m still doing some programming. I’m still at Blake on Wednesdays, doing mostly in-class lessons, like checking out worms, learning about plant parts and what plant parts we eat… As part of a grade 1/2 plant parts lesson, we went out and harvested some roots and some leaves to taste – we picked some purple and orange carrots, and some curly kale. That class just loves kale (and the carrots disappeared quickly too)!

I also started up at a new school this November. It’s sort of strange to start a garden programme in the fall, but that’s just what I did at Essex-Hawthorne. I just worked there for three days, as sort of a pilot programme. After some good feedback from students and teachers, I’ve been asked to go back for a few days in the spring as well. Hooray! As it was already mid-November by the time I started there, there wasn’t a ton of garden work to be done, but we did some seasonal and shapes in nature scavenger hunts, some plant part activities, studied soil, learned where our food comes from… We also planted some garlic, in slightly warmer soil than at Blake…

Happy growing!

The Essex-Hawthorne garlic patch.

The Essex-Hawthorne garlic patch.

The Essex-Hawthorne school garden - they have a great outdoor classroom set-up!

The Essex-Hawthorne school garden – they have a great outdoor classroom set-up!

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