How to plant garlic and why I like to do it in fall

Garlic has been know for thousands of years as both a traditional medicine and for food flavouring.

You can add garlic cloves to basically every food you like, raw or cooked. In spring when the first young leaves are out you can use the tips of the leaves to season soups, dips or salads.

It’s also good for your heart and stomach and known to boost the immune system.

When should I my plant garlic

I prefer to plant my garlic in September or October. When planting in fall it has time to grow a little before it takes a break during winter time. The first green leaves may die over winter but they’ll re-grow in spring. So in spring the garlic is already a little ahead and I can harvest and enjoy it in early to mid summer.

But you can also plant it in mid February to mid March. If it’s planted in spring you can harvest it about 4 weeks later, mid summer to late summer. The bulbs tend to be a little smaller since they have less time to grow.

What kind of garlic should I grow

It’s recommended to use native garlic from your climate zone to make sure it’ll grow properly. Choose healthy large cloves, free of diseases.

How to plant garlic

Garlic likes good soil in a sunny spot. Before planting garlic I like to prepare the dirt in my raised bed with some compost and loosen up the dirt so it’s easier for the cloves to build strong roots. Break up the bulbs into cloves and place them about 5 cm deep in the dirt with the tip up. The space between the rows and single cloves should be 10 cm.

Good neighbours

It always pays off to plant garlic with good neighbours like strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes or beets.

Harvesting garlic and storage

Once the leaves are brown and dry you can dig out the bulbs and hang them up to dry. It’s important to store the garlic in a dry and cool place. I like to make garlic braids, it’s a good and pretty way to store them.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

Audrey Hepburn

Feeding Garden birds in fall and winter

Can you believe it’s autumn already?

Nature changes to fall colors, the temperatures drop and even if we have sunny warm days, the nights can be chilly already. The early mornings are foggy and the smell of burning wood in fireplaces is in the air.

Some of our domestic birds leave us and travel south to warmer regions and some birds come to stay with us for winter time. My heart always gets a little heavy when I see the first bird formations in the sky by the end of summer. But many of our feathered friends will stay with us during the colder fall and winter months and we like to help them when the natural food supplies are least available for them.

Baby Redstart – migratory bird

How do the birds help the environment

The birds control bugs and garden weeds and pollinate our plants and after death, they provide food for decomposers and scavengers.

Flower field in the Black Forest

To survive the frosty nights they have to build fat stores and maintain their fat reserves, they also need to find food for energy. They fluff their feathers during those freezing days and nights to trap the heat.

Did you know that smaller birds need to eat up to a third of their bodyweight each day?

How can we help the birds during the colder months of the year

It’s good to provide fresh unfrozen water and a variety of food. A mix of nuts and fruits, seeds and grains and fat/oil helps a lot.

Maybe you have and apple tree in your yard and share the apples with the birds. Or you can save some of the seeds of your sunflowers to share. Opened walnuts are also a very good source of energy food. We also like to hang up fat balls as support.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to feed our birds

Maybe your family or friends have a fruit or nut tree and would love to share their harvest with you.

Growing native bird-friendly plants is good for the environment and protects our birds…they will also make your space beautiful!

You don’t have to provide a feast, every little thing helps our little friends.

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”

David Attenborough

I would love to hear from you how you care for garden birds. Please comment below or tag me on Instagram @luckyloreleyy!

How to keep slugs and snails out of your veggie garden

How to keep slugs and snails out of your veggie garden

After we settled in our new home in Germany we had the idea to grow our own veggies. Not to many though, just a few to eat during summer.
We already had lots of fruit trees and currant bushes on our property but in 2017 we added a small raised bed for carrots, shallots and radishes and another bed for tomatoes and cucumbers.
Well, you know how it is….once you started,  you like the idea to add more.
 In 2018 we planted a few berry bushes and built a roof on the tomato bed (they like their feet wet but their  head dry as my dad says).
Still not enough, this year we started creating a little farmers garden. It was such joy and excitement to plan everything.
In spring my husband prepared the area where the veggie garden would go. We included a very old currant bush which still gives us tons of currants.

My husband Jan preparing the ground.

 We built wooden frames for the beds, dug them half in the ground and placed an arch as the entrance.

Wooden frames for the beds.

We figured which plant grow best together and eventually started sowing.
It is an awesome feeling when everything flourishes and prospers and you walk through your garden and gather your homegrown treasures to cook a healthy meal. Of course there comes work with a garden. You have to water the plants and clean the beds from weeds. Also you have to check for plant pests and remove them.

 In this gardening season we have learned so much, but still there is so much more we don’t know yet. But we know one thing:

A garden can create peace of mind and contentment!

In 2017 we had the rainiest summer I have ever seen. It just wouldn’t stop raining. There was mud everywhere and the rubber boots were our best friends.

 And with the rain these guys came: 


Something had to be done… and we tried an easy solution which would not injure or kill just repel them.
We used simple copper wire! 
We got ours from old electrical cable (thanks dad) but you can also buy it at a hardware store. We stapled the copper wire around the two beds we had back then and when we built the new beds this year we did the same to those.

Not one snail or slug was seen again in our garden beds, it really works! 
We are looking forward to harvest and enjoy more delicious fruits and veggies and maybe even preserve some if we have enough.

Update on snails and slugs (2021)

This gardening season we noticed watering our plants in the morning would also keep slugs and snails away.

They prefer to come out during evening and night time, when there is dew or rain to search for food and they need the moisture to move on their slime trail, which protects them from injuries and from drying out. If we water in the evening, we will give them the environment they need to feed on our plants.

We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.

Jenny Uglow