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Planting garlic now in Zone 5b

Posted by tomswpa Z5b ( on
Mon, Feb 4, 08 at 16:42

I didn't get around to planting garlic last fall. I've planted it as late as early December here in zone 5b with good results. Its been so warm here (64 F tomorrow), that the ground is not frozen and I'd be able to plant it some day this week. Will heads form by late summer?

Can anyone explain why its necessary to plant garlic in the fall in cold winter areas in order for it to form heads the following summer?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Planting garlic now in Zone 5b

You can still plant garlic. If you get out and plant right now, it'll be better than if you planted tomorrow.

There's a thread from the other day called ---> Is it *truly* too late to plant Garlic? <--- That thread I think answers your questions.

RE: Planting garlic now in Zone 5b

Garlic planted now will form heads, but they will be smaller than if planted in the Fall.

When garlic cloves are planted, the first thing they do is put down roots to feed from the soil, then put up leaves to feed from sunshine. When you plant in the Fall, temperatures are mild enough for the root system to get established and the leaves to start before being slowed by the cold Winter. When temperatures moderate in the Spring, growth resumes and the leaves become large early, feeding the bulb. Since the roots and leaves had a good head start, larger bulbs develop by Summer.


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