• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • James Freyr
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke

Lay your garlic growing knowledge on me

 
Posts: 55
17
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a sampler of 8 garlic types coming this fall- about 40 bulbs I think, half soft neck and half hard.  

I’m new to my property (moved in October) and so far my gardens are the flower beds around the foundations, a big 10x20 bed that used to bed grass, and various patches around fruit trees I’ve planted into the lawn where I’m still trying to suppress the grass and add guild members. Zone 4 (perhaps closer to 3 due to living in a frost pocket) in mid-west Wisconsin. Soil is Loam-clay.

I’ve never grown garlic before, and of course I can lookup the basics but I was hoping for more insight. So far, from growing my summer garden I know which areas get more sun, which get morning vs afternoon exposure, which retain more water, where slugs and bunnies are an issue, and where voles like to eat things. I also have onions growing now in several spots, and have an idea which of those spots seems like they’re doing best.

With all this information, can anyone suggest where garlic would fit in well? Share how you prep a bed for garlic? Any tips or tricks you’ve learned over the years that googling “how to grow garlic” won’t garner?
 
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Zone 8B Blackland Prairie, Tx
60
cat dog home care personal care urban books cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've attempted garlic a couple of times and it has not been successful so far. I've got dark heavy clay soil, so I think there was too much water and not enough drainage. The bulbs just kind of rotted away over the course of a week.
A very good local friend of mine has had great success with her own garlic. When she set up her bed she dug down about 4 feet into the ground. She dumped in an 8in thick layer of pea gravel and a foot deep layer of wood chips. Broke up all the heavy clay soil and mixed it with playground sand. (She went a little nuts and hand-sifted her clay dirt and broke up any large pieces that wouldn't fall through the 1in metal screen). She sprays it down and completely drenches the bed about 4 days before she plants her garlic, and then lightly mists the freshly planted bulbs. She uses drip irrigation for her garlic to combat poor drainage and high heat. She grows mostly softneck varieties and braids them up for storage.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1128
Location: southern Illinois.
211
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I plant in late August (Sept) and normally harvest in June or whenever the muse moves me.  I find garlic easy to grow. I do use raised beds with a several foot layer of decomposing  straw under the top layer of soil.  I have never encountered problems. I do have a couple of dogs that keep the critters in check.
 
pollinator
Posts: 118
Location: Ohio 5b6a
46
food preservation homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We plant our garlic in the fall usually the 3rd week in September.  We plant in full sun where we grew the beans and beets through the summer.  The beans leave nitrogen in the ground.  Garlic is a high N feeder.  We prep the row with a light till, bean stocks and extra beans mix in well.  We use the manure/wood chips from the meat chicken/turkeys starter pens about a 1/2" thick over the whole area.  We plant them 1" deep and 5" apart with a row width of 14".  After they are planted we put about 1" of rabbit poop right down the row and put wood chips between the rows.  There is little weeding needed in the spring because of the wood chips and tall garlic.  We get asked by many people in the spring how we got our corn in so early.  We pick the scamps and eat them when they are bout 6" long.  We pick the garlic when the stalks are 2/3rds browned off.  We cut the stems off and dry them on a wire mesh rack for about a week,  This depends on the humidity, but they will get hard for storage.  We hang them in potato sack in the cellar and store a couple hundred in milk crates for our sale barn.  As long as they don't get wet or to much sunlight they will last until the next harvest.  We plan on harvesting this Thursday! We sell allot of garlic to the locals for 1$ bulb.

To grow new types of garlic we let a couple scamps grow out and make seed.  We plant the seeds in the spring in small containers and let them grow until fall.  We dig the new cloves out and plant them in the rows for the next year.  We are trying to do this with 1 row a year to keep fresh genes in the pool and not have to rely on just clones.  We only grow 2 types, 1 giant soft neck and one small hot hard neck.  We have been doing this for a long time so they are not really a brand/type any more.  They are on the left behind the pea fence in the picture.
IMG_20200621_192943451.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200621_192943451.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 2328
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
327
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I put down a bag of wood shaving animal bedding and planted my bulbs into that. Worked well.
 
pollinator
Posts: 162
Location: Chicago
31
forest garden foraging urban cooking food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I intercrop it with my tomatoes.  In October when I cut down the tomato plants I plant the garlic bulbs and mulch with compost and leaves.  

In June I plant tomato seedlings between the garlic rows.

In late June or early July, after harvesting scapes, I dig up the garlic bulbs.  At that point tomatoes are still small enough not to interfere with garlic harvest.

Then I hang the garlic to dry for a month or more depending on weather.
 
master steward
Posts: 3633
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1032
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I got garlic from the grocery store with the plan of planting some.

What is the best way to get it to sprout?

All our garden beds got lots of weeds this spring and I was only able to get one cleaned up enough to plant potatoes.

Would garlic like being planted with walking onions?  Or would the walking onions hate garlic?
 
Posts: 13
Location: Kentucky
5
forest garden foraging cooking food preservation medical herbs rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We plant in the fall and harvest in late spring. We mulch lightly with our hay until they come up( so they don't have trouble getting through the mulch), then weed and increase mulch to about 6 inches. Our bed gets mostly morning and midday sun, medium clay soil. Central Kentucky.
We settled on German hardy as the variety we like, for flavor, large cloves, and how well it stores. The results we get are dependent on rain - enough rain for growth, but not once you're trying to harvest. This spring,  harvest did well!
Heads were allowed to dry out of the sun, then trimmed of leaves, outer skin, and roots. Stored in mesh bags, we should have enough for the year. What was left of last year's crop, we are experimenting with turning into black garlic.
 
joke time: What is brown and sticky? ... ... ... A stick! Use it to beat this tiny ad!
how do we get more backing of the brk?
https://permies.com/t/145583/backing-brk
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic