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Why plant Garlic? 

Garlic is a good repellent for rabbits and other pests. Garlic is an easy crop to cultivate
and is a wonderful storage crop, (lasts months in the pantry), and kitchen staple.

When do I plant garlic?

To achieve large garlic bulbs, the garlic plant requires a period of vernalization, or cold treatment, which is why bulbing garlic only grows well in regions that have winters with over 40 days of temperatures below 50F and explains why we plant garlic in the FALL in these regions! 

In regions with cold winters, that are suitable to grow bulbing garlic,  it is best to plant garlic mid to late October with a general rule of thumb of being to plant garlic bulbs 2 weeks before your average first frost date. 

Now, if you’ve taken my course, you know how I feel about “rules of thumb”. It’s best to understand the why behind any rule of thumb so you can always make an informed decision as a gardener.  

Consider this when thinking about when to plant your garlic:

Where can I get garlic to plant?

There are 3 main ways to procure what is called “seed garlic”. Seed garlic refers to large and clean bulbs that are grown specifically to use for cultivating (growing) MORE GARLIC! 

Garlic is widely NOT planted by actual seeds, but what is planted are the individual CLOVES of a seed garlic bulb

Here’s where you can find quality seed garlic to order or purchase for planting in your garden:

What types of garlic can I plant?

There are two main distinctions when selecting garlic: Hardneck garlic varieties and softneck garlic varieties. Both are great to try and you can’t go wrong! Here a few key things to consider when choosing the garlic varieties you want to plant

Harvested Garlic Scapes

Hardneck Garlic Varieties:

Softneck Garlic Varieties:

How do I plant my garlic?

Now that you’ve got your garlic ordered or purchased, it’s time to think about planting your garlic! Consider the steps of preparing a space to plant into, preparing the bulbs for planting, and planting depth and spacing to ensure a good crop with big bulbs!

Selecting and preparing an area to plant garlic into:

o Prepare the garlic:

o How to plant:

Then what:

It’s very important that you remember to water your garlic each MONTH! Unless you are having a very wet winter (lots of rain or melting snow), you need to water your dormant garlic patch 1x/month. Do this on a sunny day. 

Garlic will start to sprout in the spring. Check your garlic patch for succulent green shoots coming up through leaves. At that time, pull back the leaf mulch so the garlic plants don’t rot out and can find sunlight.

When can I harvest my garlic? 

Garlic is generally ready for harvest in July or August depending on your region. But here’s what to look for so you know your garlic is ready for harvest no matter where you live!

Garlic needs to be “cured” before storing.

Garlic bulbs need to dry out and “cure” before storing. Skipping this step may result in rotted garlic bulbs that are no longer edible. Proper curing will help your garlic bulbs last in the pantry for 1-5 months depending on variety. 

o Storing garlic:

Remember… Save a few bulbs to plant in the Fall:

o PRO-TIP: Try not to plant garlic in the same spot every year, rotate. This reduces potential disease problems and nutrient deficiency.