Soaking Cloves before planting?

computergardener(z7 NC)September 4, 2008

I have grown garlic for the last three years with good success for the most part. As I prepare to plant this year's crop I was reviewing websites for tips on planting garlic. (Always trying to learn new things)

One site suggested soaking the cloves in in a baking soda and liquid seaweed overnight and then giving them a 3-4 minute rinse in rubbing alcohol before peeling and quickly planting. The concept being, the soaking and rinse gives each clove an energy boost and kills pests or pest eggs and any pathogens within the cloves.

I am only planting 40 or so cloves so it would be easy for me to do but I was wondering if anyone else does this or something similar. I wouldn't even ask, but I do find pre-soaking my regular seeds helps with germination.


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I also soak mine the night before planting. When I ordered my garlic seed from Gourmet Garlic Gardens, it came with directions for soaking the cloves. I use apple cider vinegar (I can't remember if it specifically called for the cider type; it may be that was all I had) to soak it over night, rinse them in alcohol right before planting, and I don't peel my cloves. I've had good success with my garlic so far.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:47AM
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I tried this for the first time this year. You can use either cider vinegar OR baking soda, and liquid seaweed, then either dip in alcohol OR 140 proof vodka. I chose the baking soda and alcohol, but I must admit - dipping the cloves in rubbing alcohol just seemed wrong! I hope it all turns out ok - hopefully I'll remember to post my results next summer.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 4:54PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I had read one of flutesee's post's before and another similar. I soaked mine in red wine vinegar, I forgot about them so instead of overnight it was like 36hrs. I noticed the skins had become very loose, I rinsed in 91% rubbing alcohol and planted. It was only five in a container, I think I might do five more when I pull up the basil in a similar container.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 5:21AM
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I soak my cloves for up to 24 hours in a mix of Maxicrop liquifed seaweed,11%nitrogen water soluble fishfert,Mycorrhizal fungi(water soluble)and worm tea.A tablespoon or so of each to the gallon,if in doubt use more.Most of it is available at Peaceful Valley,Farm &Garden Supply.Buy the maxicrop as a powder and reconstitue at home,saves on shipping costs.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 8:34AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Seems like a lot of trouble, for something that usually grows quite well with no treatment whatsoever. What are the supposed benefits of soaking?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 5:39PM
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The benefits of soaking are a quick energy boost for the rooting bulb and growing larger,healthier plants with a better chance of survival and more uniform plants.Bulbs under 1 1/2" just don't sell well,but over 2" move well and for a much better price.The 2 1/2" plus sizes are in great demand for culinary uses.People just don't want to clean teeney tiney cloves and most importantly it takes just as much work to grow small bulbs as it does to grow nice big bulbs that get all the oohs & aahs.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 3:25PM
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