planting garlic in March

gaia_girl(z 6 SW ID)March 20, 2009

Hey all!

So, this is my first season planting garlic. I actually bought my seed garlic last fall, and b/c I am a super busy grad student, I did not get a chance to plant last fall.

I am wondering if I can plant in early spring now (I am in Boise). I have some nice beds that get full sun for most of the day.

So, my question is, can this be done? Will I still get a good harvest? Any advice would be very welcome, thank you!

Danielle

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Dan Staley

Way late. But there's nothing to do but give it a whirl and see what happens, as you wouldn't want to have wasted that money because you are super busy now as well.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:15AM
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david52 Zone 6

I've done it, it will work out, but you'll get smaller heads than would normally be possible. I'd plant it ASAP.

Here, mine was just poking through the ground a week ago, but now, after temps in the 60's, its about 6" high. Snow this weekend.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Dan Staley

I've done it too, David, but only once and never again. Mine this year was in the ground late October and up in December (Siberian garlic), but I'm not over on your side (which is sometimes good, but not when I'm looking for a bike ride, solace, quietude, trees...). I keep taking the fam out to look at all the leaves to get them used to fresh garlic and halitosis...

Dan

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:39PM
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elkwc(6b)

I've done it several times with good luck. Of course I have different climate than you do. So can't say how it will work for you. I planted several last fall. But any that are in the kitchen this time of year that shows growth I stick in the ground and always get average size bulbs. If you want them bigger just save them after you pull them. Separate the cloves next fall and plant. Jay

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:26PM
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Dan Staley

That's a good point, Jay. Way back when I encouraged a bunch of folk at work to plant out their garlic whenever (in Sacramento area). Folks always had garlic - even in pots - but the best production is planting in fall IME. I had to explain the smaller heads weren't an indicator of skill or will, but of season.

My concern here is not that there is no production, but the heads are markedly larger when a clove is planted out in fall. Garlic is esp amenable to purchasing at the store and planting out, as the skin prevents spraying to avoid growth (as in potatoes). If you have a particularly good garlic, plant it out. And save the best cloves for fall planting. But if you are spending the money on a catalogue clove, plant it at the proper time. If you have a sprout from the store, stick it in the ground or a pot.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:07PM
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elkwc(6b)

Dan I agree the fall is the best. But if you have cloves that will ruin that you missed planting for whatever reason I would plant them like you mentioned in the first post. I have seen some say don't plant them in the spring at all. Like I said it is better to plant them and then divide an plant again in the fall as to lose them. And I have used some I've planted in the spring. In fact I have some coming next week. A variety I wanted and could only find a source that ships in the spring. So will plant it and if needed replant in the fall. This is my first year for shallots. I've read where it is better to plant them in the fall also but didn't buy mine till two weeks ago so will see how they do. Do you have any experience with them? Jay

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 9:54AM
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Dan Staley

This is our first year with shallots, Jay, as someone recently gave us some as a gift, so we'll find out together, I think. I suspect that I'll keep some for fall planting as well if they are tasty.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:03AM
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david52 Zone 6

I'm growing shallots from seed, but I'm too far south, latitude-wise, for them to really form good bulbs. But they taste sooooo good......

Re garlic, in the fall, when we're canning up gobs of tomato sauces, I'll sit outside in the shade on a stool with a garlic peeling tube and a board and peel dozens of heads at a time - and often, a clove will fall into the grass and I can't find it. I'm always amazed to see the thing growing next year, happily rooted and getting on with business. This last summer, my kids helped me dig the garlic, and were somewhat exuberant with the fork, and stabbed a dozen or so heads - I cured the heads anyway, and then when we separated them out, I chucked a dozen or so wounded cloves under a lilac bush by the garden. Several of those rooted and are coming up now -

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:24AM
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