Poll , When do you plant garlic?

garliclady(z7 NC)September 13, 2005

I often have emails from people from other regions of the US asking when to plant garlic . I know when is the best time around here but what about the rest of you when do you plant and where are you located?

Here in NC I plant from Mid October - Mid November

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glane1219(northern OK.)

Here I live in zone 6 and I plant the first 2 weeks of October, which is earlier than most other garlic growers in northern Oklahoma but I have good results anyway.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 11:48AM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

Up here in zone 4 I planted Oct 14-16 last year. I may try and wait a little later this year, but probably do not have the self-discipline. In fact, I may not be able to stop myself from starting a week earlier. Part of it is going to depend on when the raised beds I have slated for garlic become available. Those beds are occupied by peppers and tomatoes; the tomato bed will be ready in a week or two, but the pepper beds will go until the first hard frost.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 12:39PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

When asked via messages or on other forums, I use a formula which works out about right. For zones 3 through 5, plant from 15 to 30 September. Then add 15 days for each subsequent lower zone. That seems to coincide with the normal planting dates. I've always considered any time after Labor Day as fair game here. However, after some prolonged warm falls, I'll be holding off until the end of September this year rather than worry about too much foliage growth.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 2:53PM
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wayne_nc(z7 NC Piedmt)

GarlicLady, for 2 years I have planted all my Garlic right at Thanksgiving. We are not that far apart and in the same zone, tell me what are you planting as early as mid-October?


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 3:03PM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

We try to start in mid october but have planted as late as new years eve. It usually depends on the weather. We have found sometimes if we wait too late it gets wet and never dries up all winter. Also it can take me a month to plant all that we plant. I plant all the seed myself (my husband does the land prep ) and with kids and other farm & house resonsiblities it can be a month before I finish.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 3:49PM
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TinSB(z9 CA)

Here in zone 9 in California I planted the second week in November last year, and it seemed to work fine, but I don't know much yet about growing garlic!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 4:12PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

I've planted from mid-October until well into December. But given my druthers it would all go in the ground Thanksgiving weekend.

FWIW, according to Darrell Merrill, who's grown more than 500 garlic varieties (he once grew out both the entire SSE and USDA collections in one year) says that you can plant anytime from September until the ground is too hard, and they will all grow and ripen at the same time.

Darrell is in Oklahoma. But I don't think that matters. In my more limited experience, his point seems valid everywhere.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:51PM
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This will be my first year with garlic, but the grower's guide for Southern AZ says Oct-Jan. is good here. Any AZ know it to be different?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 7:03PM
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coho(z8/9 N. Calif)

Garlic Lady
Appreciate your informative postings and replys.
Northern california 100 miles north of Sacremento. Plant by November 15. Don't seem to do as well if I plant in the spring. Due to our normally mild winters, garlic is usually 16 to 18" tall by start of spring. Usually too wet to plant much before April 1st so Nov 15 or just prior to 1st rain.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 8:54PM
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This will be my first year growing garlic and I'm very excited about it. I like the European tradition of planting on the shortest day of the year, but was afraid it might be too late in my area. According to a few of your posts, though, looks like it will be ok ... as long as I don't mind being out in the cold planting garlic! A more serious concern I have is the logistics: if garlic is planted in fall/winter and harvested mid-summer, that will take a significant chunk of my little vegetable garden out of production through spring and early summer. I'm open to any suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 12:10AM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

There are two main ways (well, three) that folks seem to use their garlic beds (or space) for that down time. You can plant quick crops: someone suggested bush beans recently, peas would work, as would lettuce. You can plant green manure crop to improve the soil: red clover and rye for instance. You can also just let the soil rest. I appreciate that your space is limited, and definately encourage you to dedicate a portion of it to garlic. Martin, for example, is able to exert self-control and concentrate on growing quality rather than quantity garlic.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 7:46AM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

Here we harvest in June so I am able to plant beans squash potatoes even tomatoes after. I imagine you harvest will be in early-mid july so you should time for most summer crops.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 7:57AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. My garden is really tiny - 8' x 16' ... makes crop rotation a real challenge. It was so productive this first year, I think I'll have family's blessing to expand it, but I still have to stay within the limited area that gets good sun. Lettuce has to go in early here or will bolt - summers get hot and humid - so I'm thinking of planting it in areas that get partial shade to extend their productive season. Now thinking of a special bed outside the veggie garden for the garlic, maybe to be followed by annuals from pots. Among the perennials probably wouldn't do. Wheels are turning ... there are a few spots that get good sun all winter into June, then high, dappled partial shade as the oak leaves fill out.

Martin, what's your secret for maintaining self-control? The varieties all look so intereting and delicious.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 12:22PM
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soren(Zone 9 Sun 17)

I try to plant by the holidays but it keeps getting later in the year. I started with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, this year it will be around Christmas. The ground freezing isnÂt a worry here in zone 9 Northern California. So I just wait until the summer veggies are done in November. This year after I pulled the last of the garlic in early July I planted corn, beans, and winter squash in their place.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 4:51PM
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gandle(4 NE)

For the last 50+ years, Oct. 1 seems to be the best time in zone 4B western NE.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 6:27PM
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As a soon-to-be first time garlic grower, I'm still searching for that date.

I've done a lot of reserch on planting and growing garlic on the 'net and narrowed down the best planting time to be sometime between Sept 22 and mid Dec., or: 4-6 weeks before a significant ground freeze.

I've reserved "Growing Great Garlic" from the library, but it isn't yet availiable. I'm hoping that will have some good info.

Just this morning I finished adding compost and building up the soil in my first raised bed, made just for planting garlic. While I'm eager to get it in the ground, I think I'll wait a few more weeks.

Anyone else in Upstate NY grow garlic? When do you plant?

There is a Garlic Festival in Saugerties, NY next week end I'd like to go to, but it's about 5 hours away and gas is too darn expensive right now..

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 1:30PM
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melodyf(z9 CA)

I have raised beds made of cinder blocks, and I filled the inside of the beds and the cinder blocks themselves with a good mix of soil and compost, I have to refill them every fall, and usually add another top dressing of compost in the spring. Point is that I plant my garlic in the holes of the cinder blocks, so it does not take space away from the rest of the veggie beds. However, draw back is that I have run out of holes, as I am planting more and more garlic. So last year I planted my garlic when my tomatoes were pretty much done for which was around the middle of October. This seemed to work great, and I was still able to plant zucchini and watermelons after the garlic harvest with great results.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 6:36PM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

ALPSin NY - you probably have a pretty wide window; Upstate NY has become a major source for great garlic, and it is my understanding that the pros there plant anytime from now through mid/late October.

Growing Great Garlic is indeed the bible of this obsession. It has, however, become dated having been written in 1991. While it is intended for the professional gourmet garlic grower, it has a wealth of invaluable information for the rest of us. I would be interested in suggestions on supplemental, more current reading.

I too was considering Saugerties, and will be missing it due in no small part to gas prices. It is a 3.5 hour drive for me and I figure that the gas would run about $60. Maybe next year.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 7:50PM
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The master gardener from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office called me back today. He said he plants around October 10th, give or take a few days. I hope I can wait three more weeks...

I've read durring my searching that New York State does, in fact, produce some great garlics. You'd never guess that from shopping here, though. The supermarket in town (one that brags all summer about local produce and is owned by a local guy) offers only "Great Wall Garlic". Just more Chinese junk...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 9:27PM
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I shoot for Columbus Day - October 12th. I too have a small garden but find one row of garlic is enough - gives me plenty for pesto, plenty for spaghetti sauce and cloves left over to plant for next year's crop. Be sure to till deep and use plenty of compost. You want to get the biggest heads possible.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 11:06PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

We plant garlic between mid Oct. to early Dec., trying to get the garlic in the ground before the winter rains interfere with the process. Our warmish winters hardly slow the garlic growth so that by March 1, the plants have pretty much grown to full size. Another month or two are needed to size up the bulbs. My main complaints in recent years are the rash of leaf diseases that have weakened the plants and reduced bulb sizes.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 8:20PM
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KCLee(5 NY)

We usually plant in early to mid-October. However, since we have had rain for the last 40 days and 40 nights (just kidding,it's only been about 14 days of rain), we still haven't planted. I'm hoping for this weekend.

Attendance at the Saugerties Garlic Festival was down this year, and as several as you stated, I'm betting it was the gas prices. It's a 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive for us, but we love going, so we just saved some extra $$ for the gas.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 12:05PM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

In Oregon, I tuck garlic seed from scapes in the ground within 2 months of cutting (while still Fresh) - and cloves anytime the sun won't over-dry it in the ground.

October is preferred, perhaps, out here in our Zone 8, where we enjoy lush green growth both in fall and Spring...and much of the winter. but I've found that Sept-April is OK for planting, too, especially if seed stock might go to waste otherwise. It's better to be practical than perfectionist, IMO!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 12:24PM
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maryinpnw(z8 OR)

100 miles south of pdxjules, I plant most any time in October through November if I haven't gotten to it sooner.

Pretty much the same with spring flower bulbs.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 8:26PM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

I have two-thirds of my garlic for two weeks now, but the rain keeps the last third at bay. I had hoped to get it all in this past weekend, and may put some of it in tomorrow if the soil is not too saturated (I still need to mix manure in).

I was thinking of going to Saugerties, but I did the (much) smaller one in Vermont earlier, and the $60 I would have spent in gas was just too much to afford. I hope to go next year (especially since since my eldest son is in college near there  not many excuses in that neighborhood to drop in).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 11:06PM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

I'm planning on planting my garlic this weekend. I'm thinking I might try putting a few in the cinderblock holes and see how that works out. Problem is I forget to water the marigolds and zinnias I've planted in the holes in the past. Maybe I need to leave myself a Post It in the garden.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 11:42PM
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Pudgy(7a TX)

I put in 25 cloves into the ground (after 24 hours soaking in water), 25 stalks now, tallest is 6 inches (planted them 5 days ago :). Hope that helps. I'm not sure what is right, this is my first time planting garlic.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 8:42PM
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tania_in_vancouver(7b PNW)

I plant my garlic in mid-October here in coastal PNW. It's a bit early for Vancouver area, but I am on higher elevation, and this seem to be working all right.

As of Nov 6, I don't have any green shoots, but the root system is developing nicely, which is important.

Given our wet winters, I have to grow garlic in raised beds, or it will rot in the muddy soil over the winter.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 1:07PM
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I live right on the coast in the far northern part of California (70 miles from the Oregon border) and plant my garlic at the end of September. I grow both a softneck and a hardneck variety which came from the Pierce Family Farm who sell at the local farmers' markets as well as in alternative grocery stores around the county.

The horrible problems with gophers here make growing above ground a necessity. I make circular pens of 2"X4"X24" stock fencing about 3' in diameter, place them on top of a square of hardware cloth, line the sides of the pen with landscaping fabric and fill them with a combination of compost, potting soil and other amendments. I currently have six of these bins and grow between 250 and 300 heads of garlic every year. The biggest garlic I have ever seen, in fact.

The softneck just came out last week and the hardneck will be 3 or 4 weeks from now. I cure them in my "sewing room" spread out on perforated plastic nursery flats stacked on my wood clothes dryer with an oscillating fan going all the time. I thank Heaven that the two varieties are not done at the same time!!!

This year I tried something new. I spread chicken manure (the aged kind in bags) on top of the beds in late winter. So far this seems to be a good deal--the softneck averages 3" to 3-1/2" across.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:25AM
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I'm going to have to see if I can get some aged chicken manure. My garlic is healthy, but I never get large bulbs.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:06AM
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I did mistakenly use the word "average" when I should have used the word "majority" to describe the softnecks. Most of them are still HUGE and I am not seeing much shrinkage as they continue to cure.

I do start out with the biggest cloves on the bulb. Generally only use four or five from each bulb with none of the cloves smaller than my thumb. Have been growing from my own seed since '99.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:34AM
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I make my beds in Sept. and plant mid-oct.weather permitting.This year I'm going to plant the softnecks in mid-nov.as last year they sprouted almost immediately and were seriously hammered by winter weather,especially the California Early.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:17AM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

Thats Why I plant mostly in NOV The cool weather then keeps the garlic greens from growing too much . I also like to have a frost first to keep weed growth from being as much of a problem. Then the city brings us FREE leaves as mulch in NOV.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:05AM
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I live in central NJ and have experimented with different planting dates. For me I found that mid October gave too much top growth (12") which gets damaged over the winter. End of October gave only about 4-6" of top growth (above the mulch) and damage was minimal. Mid-November seems best as any top growth remains below the mulch.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:12PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

I plant between the two October holidays--Columbus Day and Halloween!

If the beds aren't prepared yet, and we don't have snow, all the way up to Veterans Day works. That gives about a whole month-- October 12th thru November 11...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:40PM
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This is my first year growing, but I like the holiday calander. Potatoes on St. Patrick's etc.. So I am going to do mine on Halloween.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:15AM
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I'm in SW PA, I typically plant in mid-October through mid-November, weather permitting.

I finished harvesting nearly all of my garlic about a week or so ago. In the bed I plan on planting garlic again, I planted some ground cover for green manure (oats - rodeo).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:26PM
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I live in Raleigh, NC and I harvested my first garlic this year on June 1st. I planted it on October 21st of last year. I had significant green growth before the winter, but our winters are generally mild here, so things turned out just fine. I only grew one variety, Inchelium Red, a softneck artichoke. I only get about 4 hours of direct sunlight a day across 3 8'x8' raised beds, but i still had a good return. This year I'm replanting the Inchelium Red along with 6 other varieties...I may have a garlic dependency problem. I'm trying some Creoles, Turbans, Marbled Purple Stripes, and other Artichokes. I was planning to plant about the same time this year, but I may wait a month or so. The pre-winter phase seems to be mostly geared towards root growth, and with our mild winters, I doubt the plants ever go completely dormant. I think the later planting date will work just fine and with less green growth.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 4:08PM
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pushindirt(z8 OR)

WOW, a 3 year old thread. I'm impressed.
Okay, I plant mine Thanksgiving weekend. No sooner, no later.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 11:06PM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

Where do you live pushindirt? Not to be nosey but That is what this thread is for to let others see when to plant in a certain area of the country

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 3:51PM
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pushindirt(z8 OR)

Sorry garliclady, I fixed that.
z8 OR

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I planted mine right before Thanksgiving and it worked out wonderfully.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:17AM
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I myself start planting Oct.1 and stop when the snow flys.In the pasted we have planted all the way up to Nov.15 which is really lucky for us in Montana

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 11:05AM
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mdsimenc(Z5b Chicagoland)

I plant 12 different varieties on October 15th or whatever the weekend date immediately after. I like the idea of Columbus day and might consider it - 50+ years will be a tough record to beat! The largest heads I get are inchelium, german porcelain, and these canadians that my neighbor gave me. I grew slovenian this year and they are huge. Compared to pitarelli and Red Toch which were small. I use 12-12-12 in the fall and Scott's bulb food in the spring...wish I could remember "who in the GW" told me but I keep the garlic in the same spot and amend every year with compost and manure. I got my new varieties from Karen and Mike in WI and I saw the picture of on GW expert holding his gigantic garlic. I also mulch with leaves. I cull the largest heads and the largest cloves but sometimes think this could be a mistake because after all we want great flavor not great size sometimes right? Maybe I am in the wrong thread to ask but is there a spectacular striped variety you allium lovers would recommend - from one to another? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 3:45PM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

In S.E Washinton I try for October 10-15. MDS, Chesnok is always good and always does well. I'll take all the 3" culls if you don't want them, I'll even pay the freight.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:59PM
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My first post here- what a great thread!

Here in Western Montana I usually plant in middle to late October, but decided to get them in early this year. So mine went in yesterday. It's still fairly warm (up to middle 70's and down to low 40's) with no frost yet.

I'm not sure what I'm planting, but I think it's a Spanish Red. I played around with my varieties a few years ago and lost track. This is one that works for me.

I plant in raised beds and they have drained well in spite of the wet year we've had. I may not get any top growth until spring, if past years are any indication.

I prep the soil, mark out circles with a 6" can and stick a clove in the middle of each circle, then cover with about 2" compost, which pretty well controls weeds.

Thanks for all the great information!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 7:43AM
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In central Vermont, I've planted anywhere between mid-October and Thanksgiving Day. Turkey Day is usually a little late, though. We often are very close to winter-like conditions by then.

As a rule, the last two weeks of October seem to be optimal for me.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 10:45PM
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I have a very sophisticated and scientific manner of determining when to plant. I plant on the first decent weekend after the first frost, as next year's garlic goes in the same bed as this year's tomatoes.

Basically, I improve the soil for the garlic row rather heavily in the fall and mulch well. In the second year, the row gets a mix of onions, squash, and beans (with some supplemental slow-release fertilizer for the squash and onions). The third year goes to root crops (and some corn), and the final year to tomatoes. Then back to garlic.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 11:38AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

That sounds like a good rotation, for all of the vegetables concerned. I do basically the same; my garlic / perennial onion row runs from one side of the garden to the other, for ease of tilling in the Spring. It moves each year. But not everyone has the space to practice such a rotation.

My garlic goes in anywhere from early October to early November, depending upon the weather. Late frosts or extended rainfall can cause delays. Last year, the ground never dried out enough for tilling, and I literally pushed the cloves into the mud in November.

This year, as of this post, I have yet to have a hard freeze. It goes against my nature to kill plants that are still producing... but I got tired of waiting. I cleared a row, and planted last week.

I usually grow about 10 different garlics, mostly hardnecks with a few of the hardier softnecks. What I have observed is that some of the garlics seem to respond better to planting at a particular time, while others perform much the same regardless. This is still a preliminary observation, since rainfall & temperature can also influence bulb size. Next year (weather permitting) I'll try planting both early & late, for comparison.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 5:22PM
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What happens if I plant garlic pods now--12/24/08. Reason, I have many pods shooting up in my storage. It is very cold outside and ground covered with at least 4 inches of snow. Can I plant it inside in a container?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Beginner gardener here... I planted my raised beds with a large variety of seeds and transplants about a month ago. I had no idea you planted garlic in the fall/winter and planted ALL of the garlic cloves I ordered. The cold triggers sprouting correct? What do I do now? Mark the beds and don't plant anything there until they come up next year? Sorry to sound ignorant but... well, I am!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Better luck next year.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 7:19PM
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After the summer veggies are pulled (late October) and the Puget Sound area RAIN starts(usually mid November)! Raised beds. Scapes are just starting this year (this is the first week the temperature has been above 70 and the sun is shining), so will be harvesting the shoots now, and the bulbs within the next few weeks (a month to 6 weeks later than usual). Gonna be a short summer.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:52AM
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If you planted cloves in June you will likely not get bulbs this year. You can harvest them as garlic scallions, or if they swell into a "round" (undivided onion like bulb) you can let them stay until next year. If they do form a small bulb with tiny cloves, pull them and don't replant them.

Garlic is usually planted mid October to mid November and covered with a mulch to overwinter. Best to plant the large cloves from large bulbs.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 1:33PM
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Thanks Tom, I'm still kicking myself for not knowing or at least reading the package instructions! We had weeks and weeks of rain so getting the raised beds planted was a massive all-day race during a couple dry days. I'm pretty much writing off my little silver rose garlic as a loss this year. I'll plant again this fall. Question though, with plans to rotate beds I should actually plant the garlic where I want it to be NEXT year yes?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 12:17PM
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The new garlic cloves you plant this fall will come up in March where you planted them. The ones you planted last month are a loss and better used as garlic scallions. I don't have the room to rotate beds and plant my garlic in the same place every year without problems.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 2:19PM
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You know, damonstealth did not specify what area of the world it lives in and that makes a huge difference in planting and harvesting time, imho.

I live in the extreme northern part of coastal California and I plant my garlic in September. Early ones start to come up right away, German porcelain variety I grow comes up between Christmas and New Year's. Early garlic is done from the middle of June on and Germans just came out last week.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:02AM
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I live in Northern Illinois and planted silver rose garlic. I think a few have actually come up. However, my father in law just gave me a huge bag of 200+ bulbs of garlic from a friend. They have already sprouted. I've got them staying cool in the basement for now but what should I do with them? Plant or wait until this fall? They are slightly pink/red so I'm thinking they are Early Italian?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:49AM
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You can plant garlic anytime. Now is just as good as in the fall. Maybe even better. Garlic is a perennial and doesn't NEED to ever be dug up, let alone planted only in a certain time period. You just want to get in into the soil before the soil temp drops below 60F, so that it can make adequate roots before winter sets in. And if you are planting dormant cloves in the hot summer, make sure to keep the soil watered as you would do any garden in the summer.

Some of my garlic is already planted. I plant mostly by hand several thousand cloves, so if I had to wait until it got cool, it would be way too late. We don't have much of a fall here, maybe 3 weeks max. It goes from 90 degree nights to snowfall in less than a month.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 3:24AM
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Where we live, Cape Cod ma, it's supposed to be after Oct 15. That being said, the best garlic I ever harvested came from a head I missed the year before which split and produced 8 HUGE healthy heads. Lee Reich, the Weedless Gardener, recommends planting in August, he's in upstate ny, and honestly, given my experience, I would definitely do that, if I had the room in August. And I would skip splitting up the individual cloves, just do the heads and give extra room. As it is, i usually don't get in until before Thanksgiving. Anyone else experimented with this?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:05PM
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rhubarb_stalker(Z5b Western MA)

radar, I'm just curious about the eight huge heads. Were they mis-shaped from being so close together?

I usually plant my garlic around mid-October. However, the thought of getting it into the ground earlier appeals to me. Does anyone know the reasoning behind not planting it earlier?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 8:10PM
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No, the heads weren't misshapen at all. Beautiful, full sized perfect. We have sandy soil, I add inches of compost every year and I think it is soft enough that the cloves were able to split apart from the head (which you see if you are ever a little late harvesting) and give themselves plenty of room each. It makes sense that they would do well, genetically speaking.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 9:53PM
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drneutrino(z6 Bos)

I have grown Garlic(softneck German) since 2000 in Zone 6 and usually used the old adage to plant on or about Columbus Day but I noticed in the latter part of last decade that the warmer weather extending into November often caused my garlic to grow too much and actually pop too far out of the ground. In Spring these almost always were burned from the frost especially if the winter did not have a good ground cover of snow. I started delaying planting and have planted near Boston as late as Mid November. I plan on doing a staggered planting this year and measuring the size of the bulbs produced

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 7:07AM
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Well, it's time to get this thread off to another year of comments. Here on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this year my plans are to stagger the plantings between October 20 and November 10. We have had much more rain this year than usual, but since the soil is sand-based, the water drains off fairly quickly. This year will be my biggest garlic planting ever, with about 1500 cloves in 19 varieties (including elephant garlic, actually a leek varietal) going into the ground.

Also have a similar number of shallots and multiplier onions, which in the past I've planted in Fall and/or Spring with no noticeable difference in production.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:13AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I didn't see anyone from my zone, so I will chime in. We plant in mid October here on the border between zone 7 and zone 8 in Mississippi.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 6:27PM
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I planted all mine Oct 16 (Indianapolis Indiana). They started breaking through during the first month of Nov. Not sure whether that was good or bad. Last year (My first year) I planted mid Nov. I always heard wait until a hard frost before planting. Anyone else garlic breaking ground yet?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 7:13AM
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In upstate NY, I plant them starting out with my first batch in late september and keep planting them every couple weeks into mid november, and they always seem to have enough time to sprout up a few inches even when they are planted in November.

I haven't found any real difference in bulb size on the exact time of planting them in the fall however I have found that more spacing and full sun will usually result in larger bulbs. Of course all of them are well mulched over the winter and watered when necessary. I have found that it is necessary to plant the in the fall as opposed to spring so they establish roots & go through a dormancy cycle or else they won't form full multi-clove bulbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garlic growing blog

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 6:41PM
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Here in Brooklyn NY I plant btwn Halloween and Thanksgiving. put in 2 dozen hardneck cloves on Friday.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Just wondering, is there really a problem with planting very early, lets say in August?

I've planted in mid september before, and it doesn't look like the tall foliage gets burnt back by the cold since we almost always have snow cover over the winter, but I'm thinking if you have an open garden bed, or a place to plant them, might as well get it over with so there's a crop next year.

Oddly enough, very late planting, such as now also seems to be OK as they seem to have the ability to produce roots and develop over the winter here in NY while they are under the snow.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I've planted anytime between Columbus Day and the first week of November. Never noticed any difference planting on the earlier or later end of that range.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:21PM
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I think depending on the year, garlic can probably be planted with good results even going well into december. Some of my later batches which were planted right around thanksgiving are already taking root very well now, and even as far north as upstate NY, it looks like the soil temperature will stay well in the 40s through most of december based on the LT forecast.

In previous years, I've found that late planted garlic that doesn't even sprout will turn into rounds, and early planted garlic which gets up near 1ft tall doesn't get destroyed as long as there is a good layer of leaf mulch and snow always accompanies extreme cold temperatures. In any case, these cloves will have good established root system, and be stratified to form nice big bulbs the following year. Given that when I dig through the snow and the soil is not frozen underneath it even in the middle of January when there's a few feet of snow, I believe that root growth does occur.

Every time I've planted garlic in the spring, I get much smaller bulbs so I think the only important thing is that they go through the natural cold stratification that is brought upon by winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garlic growing blog

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 11:34PM
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