Planting fresh garlic cloves?

silkcom(5)December 23, 2012

I'm mostly just wondering, do you have to dry your garlic before breaking the cloves and planting in the fall? Is it possible to just pick the garlic, pick out your favorites, and then just plant them back into the ground in july/august? Or do i have to dry it and wait until late winter?

Does it make little difference to plant the same day you harvest? Keep in mind I'm still planning on planting it back into a different area of the garden, but it'd be nice to do it all at once.

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stevelau1911

I think planting them anytime of the year is OK. if you plant them in the spring, you will end up with very small bulbs. If you plant from July until February, they will still make make good sized bulbs the following summer. You can still plant garlic now if you want to given that the soil is not frozen yet.

I think the ideal planting time is anywhere from September through December.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 5:56PM
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silkcom(5)

but can you plant them without "curing" them? I actually just the complete book of garlic for christmas, so that should also help me answer a lot of the garlic questions I have :).

I'd really like to pick them and immediately plant the best looking ones into a newly prepared area for them, rather than drying them first.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 7:16PM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

You don't really need to cure them before replanting, and it's possible that getting them right back into the ground will give them a growth advantage. I had a bed I planted last fall (2011) with purple-stripe bulbils. I dug up the rounds in June, but I missed some. They started sprouting by September. The rounds I dug up and cured were planted in November and are starting to sprout in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see if and how the plants/bulbs differ by next summer.

General guidelines recommend planting in the late fall so there is not too much top growth that may be damaged by extreme winter cold. On the other hand, that risk may be offset by the increase in crown growth, so even if some of the leaves are damaged they still benefit the plant overall.

The point being, so much will depend on the varieties and your growing conditions, and experience will be the best teacher. Why not replant some immediately and some after different cure times and compare?

The Complete Book of Garlic is great! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 8:01AM
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makalu_gw(z5b NY)

I've planted back without curing a couple of times. Aside from getting the top growth frozen off over winter (and worrying about yellowing tips on the plants for no good reason), the garlic that was planted immediately was almost exactly the same size as the ones that were planted around Columbus Day. The big thing that I lost was the opportunity to grow a second crop on the open soil - I usually overcrop with bush beans once the garlic is harvested - so now it's just more productive to harvest, cure and replant in fall. If you've got the space, then I don't think it's going to matter too much either way.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 3:08PM
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silkcom(5)

interestig, if i can get a crop of bush beans in thats definitely worth it

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 5:05PM
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wolverine1012

We, too, harvested our garlic in summer and planted back with bush beans. The harvested cloves were planted in a different area, but if we had planted them back in the same area they were harvested from, we would have lost a nice crop of bush and pole beans.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 8:18PM
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stevelau1911

With over a foot of snow from last night and likely continual snow cover for the next 2 months, it doesn't look like the freeze back threat is there anymore since the snow insulates them enough so that extreme freezes won't reach them.

I have some garlic that was grown in the summer reaching over 1ft tall going into fall, so it looks like they will be fine this winter as long as the snow doesn't disappear with a mid winter warmup.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 8:47AM
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