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When Should I Plant Garlic?

Question:

Last fall I planted some fall garlic and it just about all rotted in the ground. Is it too cold here, or is there something I didn't do? Is spring planting better for here?

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Hardiness Zone: 2b

nbwilson from Hudson Hope, British Columbia

Answer:

In most cases, fall is the best time to plant garlic in your area. Ideally, you need to time it so that the roots have a chance to develop (but the tops do not break the surface) before winter. Plant them in well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. To prepare bulbs for planting, separate them into cloves as close to planting time as possible. This helps prevent the root nodules from drying out and allows the clove to set roots more quickly.

If your bulbs rotted in the soil, they may have received too much moisture. Bulbs need even soil moisture, especially during early growth. Too much moisture leaves them prone to burst skins and mold. Too little moisture will result in small bulbs. Unless you live in a wet climate, covering them with 4 inches of mulch is a good way to achieve an even moisture balance, as well as protecting them from fluctuating winter temperatures. When keeping them in the ground over winter, it is always better to stop watering them too early, than to try to squeeze in a bit more growth.

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Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 22, 20080 found this helpful

I plant mine in the spring and it does fine.

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May 22, 20080 found this helpful

I'm in the USA, but I plant mine in the spring and do very well with it.

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May 23, 20080 found this helpful

There are two kinds of garlic, one with a hard and one with a soft stem. One is planted in the spring and the other in the fall. Too much water, poor drainage, or a host of other things can make garlic rot though. Do some online research. I love garlic and grow it in my garden, but find a large bottle of chopped garlic from Sam's to be well worth the money.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 23, 20080 found this helpful

I plant mine in the spring and they do well I leave some in the ground all winter and in spring they are growing real well. I am in northern Alberta.

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May 24, 20080 found this helpful

I plant my garlic in the fall. But after planting it I mulch it with straw to protect it. I plant it in Oct. It does great. In the spring I don't remove the straw. After you pick your garlic turn the straw into the dirt.
Good Luck

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I have planted mine in the spring and fall, the fall crop does better but you have to plant it a little deeper in the fall and about 6 weeks before the ground freezes, here in Michigan I try to get it in by mid October so it has a chance to sprout up through the ground before it starts snowing. When I have planted in the spring as i did this summer my bulbs were very small before the plant started to died off. Here's a picture of this year's crop... most of these are about 1.5 inches in diameter.

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January 24, 20090 found this helpful

This year I planted it in the fall. I put a cover over the raised bed to see if it will give them a boost in growth over the winter. As always gardening is an experiment every year so I'll let you know if this one does anything to improve the size of the garlic.

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