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Garlic Planting time soon  RSS feed

 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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I'm in zone six .. just prior to the first hard freeze is time to plant next year's garlic.

Take the best heads from last year and go to the store and look around for experimentation for next year .. plant sharp end up .. blunt down about an inch of soil over the sharp end .. do not cover with hay .. ever for fall planting. At least that has been my experience in the NW. After they are up four inches in the spring then mulch.

I save my old potato and grape plastic sacks .. the grape sacks even have little zippers .. and use those for fall garlic storage and Christmas give aways. Let fall garlic dry in the shade and crumble all the dirt off of them and get them clean and pull the roots off when they dry.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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For those in a Mediterranean climate, like mine:

You might start irrigating your garlic now, to use up the last of stored rainwater before the rains return.

Definitely use mulch! The plants will grow without a break if there is no hard frost, and mulch will help them avoid competition.

Grocery store garlic in the USA tends to come from Gilroy, CA, which also has a Mediterranean climate.

I start garlic under tomato plants and curcubit vines; it doesn't seem to mind the semi-shade in the very early days.
 
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
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Most garlic sold in the united states is imported from china. Here's a 2007 story from npr about it.


U.S. Growers Say China's Grip on Garlic Stinks
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11613477

 
                            
Posts: 271
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I'm running late as usual, am trying garlic for the first time this year and got a bit carried away--have nearly 20 varieties to plant. I was going to mulch with 3 year old decomposed woodshavings mixed with horse stuff. But after reading this post... not sure I should. Suggestions?  It frosted here hard last night, ice in all the waterbuckets.

To mulch are not to mulch?
I'm in zone 4.

Feral
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Feral, I've read lots of American info recommending mulch to prevent the garlic freezing in the ground.
I chuck on a thick layer of whatever's handy when I plant, then clear a tiny space for the shoot once it's sprouted, which is simple if you've planted it evenly spaced.
Garlic hates weeds, which thrive in my climate. But... things will be very different up your way, so YMMV!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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DustyTrails wrote:do not cover with hay .. ever for fall planting. At least that has been my experience in the NW. After they are up four inches in the spring then mulch.



What is the downside, and do you have any advice on how Feral might decide if that advice applies?
 
Posts: 190
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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We're in Zone 4 and we always mulch in the fall.  The only downside is if you have lots of burrowing rodents/voles as you'll be providing habitat.  If that's the case, wait until the top of the soil is freezing, then apply the mulch.

We always mulch our garlic with the hulls from our dry beans as it's absolutely weed-free.  We bag up the hulls to save for planting, which around here happens in the first or second week of October.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Walk wrote:The only downside is if you have lots of burrowing rodents/voles as you'll be providing habitat.



Oh, that makes sense.

So a patch small enough to be patrolled thoroughly by house cats, or a plot with a good population of snakes and owls, might do OK with deep mulch from the start?

Also, it sounds liket the stuff in question ("3 year old decomposed woodshavings mixed with horse stuff" could at least be applied thinly as a fertilizer: it sounds relatively high in nitrogen, and doesn't seem as though it would have much loft.
 
                            
Posts: 271
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Ok... it's in the ground. The mulch I ended up using was not the decomposed stuff. I get it from the local fair grounds, the fair was in September and the great, well rotted stuff has been buried under a mass of stuff from this year. Sigh.....

So, planted the garlic, had lots of different clove sizes. I planted so that the top of each clove was about 1 1/2 times the length of the clove in depth.

I mulched very loosely with 3 inches of the "new" wood shavings/horse stuff. Topped everything off with fine layer of powdered goat berries.  Fingers crossed that's enough nitrogen. I'll see how the compost looks in the spring and maybe add more of the goat berries then.

That was/is a lot of garlic!

Found an additional three bulbs after I was finished that I had purchased at a local garlic festival. I need to prepare the ground yet for those. Soil is really nice where I'm planting at. Had been a garden site with previous owners, but has not been used in nearly 8 years... so lots and lots of weeds. I'm impressed with the soil texture. Froze last night again, I had ice in all of my water buckets this morning. Hoping that garlic gets some roots put down.

Thank you all for your help and advice. I'm hoping for a productive year and lots of little bulbils next year.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Feral wrote:Ok... it's in the ground.



Congrats!

It might be worth putting in some fava beans around the edges, if you're worried about nitrogen, but it sounds like, between weed roots and manure, there will be enough. I've read favas can handle frost really well, but I have too warm of winters to know this from experience; similarly, sources on companion planting are mute over favas being susceptible to the same garlic exudates that stunt peas and true beans, so I'm hoping they do well as a companion for me this winter.
 
Larisa Walk
Posts: 190
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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A good mousing cat should take care of the vole problem.  If you don't have vole damage on other crops (carrots, beets, sweet potatoes are their favorites), you'll probably be fine with the mulch on the garlic.
 
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