new to garlic

linda0210March 11, 2008

Got some today in a swap - can I plant it now? Z5 in Massachusetts so ground is still frozen. I would have to put them in a pot, I am thinking.

Any suggestions on if it would work, or what to do?



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makalu_gw(z5b NY)

I've never tried to transplant garlic though I'm going to test that this year but I've grown them in a pot last year just to see what happened. The short of it is that in a pot, they will grow and get to a decent size but the heads don't size up too well ... I got a couple of rounders and a few heads that formed cloves that were in the 1-1.5" range.

In your zone, garlic really wants to go in in the fall to get the roots established for good spring growth. What I'd suggest now is try a couple in a pot just to grow it out for either planting in the fall or to use as garlic scallions and start a few in dixie cups now and transplant into the ground as soon as you can get in. That way the roots get started and they have a better chance of sizing up in the ground.

FYI, two weeks after planting in 16 oz dixie cups using standard potting soil with a temperature of 50 degrees, I've got 2" tall tops and the roots have made 1 complete circle in the bottom of the cup ... this time of year, garlic really wants to grow. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 8:59AM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

I wonder if you could put some in a pot and then place in the refrigerator for a couple months then take out and let go, sort of like forcing tulips...I might have to give it a try with the stuff sprouting in my pantry.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 10:57AM
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makalu_gw(z5b NY)

Once they start sprouting, they're ready to go ... no refrigeration necessary, just some dirt and water. It's that time in our zone - the ones in the ground are rapidly catching up to the ones in the dixie cups so we'll see what happens by July.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:52AM
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sunnyk(Z6 SW Coastal CT)

I am pretty new to garlic too. And I was wondering when the scapes on the hardneck varieties start to form. I dont venture out to the garden much this time of year as it is still pretty dead out there, but I dont want to miss out on those scapes :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 9:48PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)


assuming you planted in the fall, scapes form in mid to late june. i think it's just a wee bit early! :) if you plan on planting in the spring, i have no idea as i always plant in the fall.

i was disappointed by the scapes last year, 1st really serious year gowing garlic. they are ok from the cut up about 3" then they get fibrous. i did not find them all that great but they are free and i hate to waste stuff. they are a pain to cut but then i had about 180 plants and not all form scapes at the same time. it does start/end over about 2-3 week time frame.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 1:56PM
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sunnyk(Z6 SW Coastal CT)

Thanks Tom.
I did plant last Fall, the few times I have planted garlic has been in the Fall, but this is my first year growing the hardneck type...looks like I have a bit more of a wait on my hands. I guess I have been trying to rush Spring along this season LOL!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:38AM
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