Too late to plant garlic?

organic_josephDecember 4, 2011


Is it too late to plant garlic in my area? I am in Ashland Oregon, and the nights are down to the 20's. Does it make any sense to plant garlic now? The ground does not appear to be frozen. Should I wait until spring? The weather might warm up a bit, but it is completely uncertain . . .

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As long as the soil temperature is above freezing, I don't see any problem in planting them and giving them a good layer of mulch. They still have the whole winter to produce roots and form rounds even if they never sprout shoots until spring.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:56AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I agree with planting soon. I used to farm near Ashland in the Applegate valley and would sometimes plant late. It doesn't always get as large as the earlier fall planted garlic, but does much better than spring planted.
You don't have to apply the mulch now as the ground doesn't freeze deeply there (I usually mulch before spring weeds start).

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:27PM
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I did a quick experiment with a few garlic cloves, potted them up with moist soil, and after checking them out, only after 24 hours, the roots were over an inch long which kind of shows how quickly garlic will get started once it is planted in the soil when the soil is still warmer. It has since been 3 days and the shoots are definitely rising.

If I just let them grow indoors by a window, my prediction is that they will never form rounds however if I cold stratify them by taking them into the garage for about 4 weeks, then the flower bud will get a chance to develop and it should be able to mature to form a bulb which probably won't be full size like the ones grown outside just because artificial conditions are not ideal for the garlic.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 4:45PM
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Just for fun i stuck a clove in a cup of water. to my suprise the next day i had roots and a sprout. i live in florida and am not sure about where or how to go about planting. and how do i know when to harvest? can i put it in a large pot in my back porch? or would a un used flower bed be best? also why is mulching required?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:48PM
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If you are in Florida where it is already starting to warm up, it might just be too late to grow garlic since they need 8 weeks of vernalization, soil temperatures between 40-45F.

They do best in full sun, and you really don't need to mulch if you never get snow, but planting close to February when the vernalization period is near the end, the bulbs will not end up getting very bid.

My experiment with indoor garlic was a complete failure as they did make nice big greens, but bulbs were never produced and the plants eventually withered away either due to the lack of enough light or too short of a vernalization dormancy period.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 7:02AM
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plainolebill(z8 OR)

Hi, This is my first post to this forum and my 3rd year growing garlic. I live in the Willamette Valley which is cool this time of year but seldom gets below the mid-teens. I planted my garlic at the end of October which isn't really late except for the mud factor.

This year, because there is are several varieties of weed that flourish during the winter, I decided to mulch the garlic with chopped wheat straw - which has kept the weeds down except for a few wheat sprouts.

The problem that I didn't anticipate was a raccoon has found the mulch a great place to dig for worms and bugs. I've had to put bird netting over a frame to keep the guy out. Most of the garlic is up with the artichokes about 6" tall.

Right now we are at the end of our porcelains and rocamboles and will be eating the silverskins until we run out. I haven't planted enough the first two years, but this year I planted 150 heads and counted 126 poking through the straw today. Unfortunately I didn't plant any silverskins because I was under the mistaken assumption that artichokes were good keepers. I guess we'll need to eat a lot of garlic in a hurry next fall.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 12:14AM
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