I admit I never have had much luck with winter gardens. The climate stays nice enough here to keep some things, like cabbage, kale, carrots and spinach, going all winter. But I tend to pay little attention to them, instead focusing my efforts on indoor tasks. That usually led to an abundance of kale, who just loves to be ignored, and some beautifully grown cabbage heads – that were completely riddled by holes and insects. Practically inedible, I left them in the beds as ornamental and discarded them once it was time for nicer weather.
When I told my mother about this last fall, she simply asked me “Are you planting garlic between the rows?”… silence. I didn’t and it seemed strange that I should. But who really argues with their mother at this age.
Next time I was at the grocery store I picked up a bulb of organic garlic, divided it into the different cloves and stuck them in neat rows between the already planted cabbage and broccoli seedlings.I was amazed when they sprouted. I was in wonder when they grew all winter, along side the cabbages, that still do not have a single hole in them. They are wonderful and taste fantastic.
Give it a try next fall, maybe it will amaze you too. Maybe you already knew that. For me it was the greatest encouragement to pay closer attention to companion planting and the natural friendships.