Garlic Beds - permanent or rotate?

glenn9643(z8 MS)May 25, 2006

I have three raised beds available so rotation wouldn't be a problem, but my garlic has been in the same bed for two years.

Will this present a problem? I add 2-3" of finished compost every year over these beds as a mulch, and when the garlic is dug the compost is turned deep into the soil with a digging fork. Great soil in all three beds at least 12" deep.

Do you rotate your garlic planting or do you use a permanent bed?

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username_5(banned for no reason)

No need to rotate the garlic. If you are adding compost each season and are continuing to be pleased with the growth of the garlic, then rotating is not necessary. Unless you just feel like it of course ;-)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 4:25PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Short of an infestation of some kind there's no reason to rotate.

In fact, 19th century onion breeders discovered that alliums actually do better when grown in the same beds year after year.

My alliums beds are in their sixth year. And Martin has some that, if I recall correctly, have been used continuously for 20 years.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 1:07AM
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nanelle_gw(9/Sunset 14)

I believe I might have nematodes in mine. I had tomato root knot nematodes in the same bed; if these are nematodes at all, I am assuming they are different. (see my post;" what's happening to my garlic")

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 10:45PM
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Good to know I can replant my garlic in my one raised bed I built last year. Of course I plan to add to the soil afetr harvest and before planting.

Aside from the compost, what else can I add to help improve the soil for garlic? I may have a source for some 5year old horse manure and buckets of coffee grounds. Are these good for garlic?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 12:11AM
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username_5(banned for no reason)


You want garlic to grow nice, large leaves early in the season to grab all the sun energy they can. After that you want them to have ample phosphorus for bulb development, but you also want them to have a complete buffet of major and minor nutrients as well as a host of beneficial soil organisms and enzymes. That is where the compost comes in.

Manure and coffee grounds will add mostly N, but also a small amount of the same stuff compost does. After all, they become compost soon enough. They are both great food for the soil.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 12:35AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Equal part of bone meal, blood meal, and wood ashes, along with compost, are all I use.

The amendments are worked into the soil, before planting, at the rate of once up of each per ten row feet of garlic. Then, in May, the plants get side-dressed with the same mixture, at the same application rate.

This seems to be the balanced diet they require.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 9:28AM
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