Outside with Garlic Peepers

Garlic in January

Due to a warmer than usual winter thanks to our friend El Nino, the garlic that I planted in the kitchen garden is starting to peep through the straw mulch. This is not my first adventure with garlic, so I know that it is pretty hardy and can stand a bit of the cold. I put a little more straw on the shoots, so they should be just fine come harvest time.

Gardening with El Nino

According to the National Ocean Service, “the term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.” This does not necessarily mean that gardens will be affected. Since it’s always best to be prepared for what is to come, the site Prudent Garden offers some suggestions about how to prepare and weather these atypical winter months as El Nino passes through.

The site suggests to form raised beds or cover with plastic over PVC pipe to make high tunnels. Mulch is also mentioned as an effective cover. I often use our pine needles and leaves as mulch, but we happened to have some straw left over from last season, so I chose to use that as a garlic cover. I’ll continue to watch it through the winter months and add straw as needed.

January and February are good months to start planning next season. The seed catalogs are already starting to come in and my mind is back in the garden.

Happy Garden Planning!

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