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Spring is in full bloom in my garden.  I love this time of year and frequently walk around, noting what is blooming and how quickly everything is growing.

Timber Press has a great tool for helping you get ready for spring.  They have monthly tips and are offering one of their great giveaways.  

The giveaway consists of a collection of their most popular gardening books. 
I had the opportunity to read one of their recent books and I just love it! 
Those of you who know me personally, know that one thing that I don’t like are landscapes that require a lot of maintenance.  
My ‘new’ favorite gardening book is called “The NEW Low-Maintenance Garden” by Valerie Easton.
 
She shares many of the same gardening philosophies that I do.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
“…..they have a minimum of lawn, little pruning or dividing to be done…Most often, plants are placed where they can grow to their own natural sizes and shapes without interference.”
“….most are neither manicured nor scruffy, but maintained at a state somewhere in between that might be called lived-in.”
 I love that description, don’t you?

Leaf lettuce and garlic grow among alyssum, nasturtiums and violas, which repel bad bugs and attract beneficial insects to my vegetable garden.
 Here is my favorite quote that I feel describes my garden perfectly:
“New low-maintenance gardens offer beauty to feed your eyes, flowers to fill your house, fruit and vegetables to fill your family and friend‘s bellies….but don’t wear you out on the way.”
The NEW Low-Maintenance Garden has great tips and guidelines to get you on your way to creating your own beautiful, low-maintenance garden.
Take a few minutes to check out the Timber Press guide to spring and enter their “Ready, Set, Grow!” giveaway. 

 

Garlic has to be one of my favorite vegetables.  I use it in almost everything and I almost always use more then the recipe asks for.


I love growing my own garlic and it’s very easy to do.


Fall is the best time to plant garlic and it starts with a visit to your local grocery store.


Garlic is easily planted from cloves.  Take the whole heads of garlic that you have purchased at your grocery store and separate out the individual cloves.

Chose a location in your vegetable garden that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight.  If you do not have an existing vegetable garden, then amend your existing soil with compost and aged steer manure, mixed in well.


Space them approximately 6 inches apart.


Plant 2 inches deep, with the pointed side of each clove pointed upward and cover with soil.
Garlic like regular water, but do not let them become soggy.

They will soon send up green shoots.  In cold climates, add a straw mulch over your garlic.  Freezing weather will cause the green shoots to turn brown, but they will grow back in spring.

Once the outer leaves begin to turn brown and droop, you can harvest your garlic. 



Pull it up carefully and keep the green shoots attached.  Remove any clumps of dirt, but do not clean the heads.

Put your newly harvested garlic in a warm, dry area out of sunlight to ‘cure’ for a few weeks.  Then cut the shoots off.  
Your garlic is now ready to cook with.  Store your garlic out of sunlight.  I keep mine in a bowl on a shelf in my laundry room.

So start growing your own garlic.  You can spend the time they are growing selecting your favorite recipes that need garlic.