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Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Plant Garlic in the Fall: How, When and Why

How to Plant Garlic in the Fall: How, When and Why

My method for planting garlic is for gardeners in areas that get freezing winters. If you don't get freezing nights, snow and frozen ground... garlic bulbs are often pushed into the garden bed  surface, about an inch deep and covered with some mulch.

I am in Maryland Zone 7 and my beds freeze in the winter. Garlic should be planted 3-4 inches deep depending on how much cold you get. The video will show you how I set up the soil and plant the garlic cloves, broken from the bulbs. I will use diffenernt fertilizers as available. I often use bone meal for phosphorous, as it helps with bulb growth, and blood meal for nitrogen. The key to nice size garlic bulbs is very loose soil and fall planting.

Garlic Sprouts - The Rusted Garden 2014

You plant them in the fall for two reasons. The garlic will recognize the winter and come spring will set off to form a bulb. Planting them in the fall also allows the clove to sprout a tip and develop a really strong root system. When you plant the clove you want to make sure you have some slow release fertilizer mixed into the planting area. Don't worry if your garlic gets a few inches of green growth that gets beat up before the cold arrives. It won't hurt it.

Plant Garlic in the Fall before the Freeze Comes

I plant my garlic about 4 inches deep in my zone. I don't mulch it. You can plant it in late September through October. If you want to push it, early November is okay. The key is that you want about 4 inches of a barrier between the clove you plant and freeze. You could do a 4 inch depth in the soil or 2 inches in the soil and 2 inches of mulch. It is really up to you. You do not need to be exact.

I use garlic from the grocery store. A lot of people say you shouldn't as you have a risk for diseases. I haven't had issues. You can buy it from catalogs and online. You can go to specialty gourmet stores for different varieties that are meant to be eaten... but I plant them.

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