How do you grow garlic (spring planting)?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by fng, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. fng

    fng Member

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    Hi,

    I'm thinking about trying to grow garlic by planting in the spring. Can anyone give me some advice? I know nothing really about growing garlic so anything will help. Thanks,
     
  2. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Garlic has been pretty easy for me to grow and doesn't seem fussy about the soil although I do try to rake it up so it isn't too compacted.

    Select the nice large cloves for planting and I usually plant them about double their height deep ie if the clove is 1 inch tall I plant it 2 inches deep. Plant them a good distance apart since the plants will produce bulbs that will be a couple of inches across and they will need the room grow.

    I haven't run across any pests other than snails and slugs which like to chew on the leaves. This can be a problem when the cloves are starting to grow and spring planting could make this more prevalent so you might need to put down your beer traps to protect the little garlic shoots.

    Hope this helps!

    Anne
     
  3. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I tried spring planting and the bulbs weren't as large, but I suspect it was because I didn't put the cloves in early enough. Now I plant in Ootober and they turn out as perfect as they can be. This is my 2006 crop.


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    http://xrl.us/oef2

    5 July 2006. The garlic was planted 15 of October 2005 about 25 plants. The garlic is on a drying rack and will be kept there for about two weeks, then trimmed and packaged in paper bags. Five of the dried bulbs will be used for next years growth about 25 plants, since each large bulb has about five smaller cloves. Only the larger cloves will be chosen for seed.
    The cloves keep for well over a year. The plants are pulled when the stem at the top of the bulb soft when squeezed, and the leaves start to turn brown, about 1 July in my Zone 5. I cut the snake seed stems off when they form before flowering, and fry them in oil.

    http://xrl.us/o32d

    Garlic has been dried on hot days in the shade, not direct sun. I trimmed the tops and will let them dry some more to seal the stems, then put the whole bulb in paper bags. I still have some from 2005 in perfect condition.

    When I pull from the ground, they are lightly washed, them put in the sun to dry. When the stems are sufficiently brown they are trimmed and further dried for a day or so.

    My 2007 (Ocober 15 Zone 5) garlic is in the ground and I expect 50 plants this spring.
     
  4. fng

    fng Member

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    Thanks for the info. I will definatly be planting garlic in the fall from now on, seams like the best way to produce large bulbs. But for this year, spring will have to do. I'm going to plant my garlic tomorrow. Wish me luck.

    Nice pics, hope mine are half as good
     
  5. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    fng--one trick with all the onion family. They start to bulb at a certain time in the summer, no matter what. The size of the plant at that time of year, determines the final size of the bulb.

    So...the trick is to get the biggest plant possible by encouraging growth...a good balanced source of nitrogen is the usual strategy. I would side dress with blood meal and/or drench occasionally with fish fertilizer once the soil warms up and the shoots are beginning to sprout well. Probably keep this up until sometime in May, then let them work on their bulbs by with-holding any more high N fertilizers.

    Planting the seed in October is way better as you've heard...lots of compost or other humus in a sandy soil is ideal. I like to supplement the lime at that point just to make sure of Ca and Magnesium, without overdoing it (doesn't need high pH or anything, just the minerals). I also mix in a bit of kelp meal, as the garlic is a super health food in my diet, and I love to have all the minerals possible sucked up by the plants/bulbs (yup a bit of a health nut!).
     
  6. AlexH

    AlexH Active Member

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    I've planted garlic from the grocery store that's started to sprout. IIRC, I planted them in late April, and they had started to brown and fall over by mid July.

    Each clove had divided and formed into the bulb, but they were tiny. Not much bigger than the original clove. But they were in a poorly maintained section of the garden and didn't get much care. I think if you take care of them, you should get a good size.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Once I knew an old country Ukranian in Saskatchewan, who ate a garlic sandwich every night brefore going to bed, and he claimed that he never caught a cold.

    A friend of mine told me that Geroge never got a cold because nobody ever got close enough to him to give him germs.

    The point is if one eats garlic in any quantity everybody around had better eat it also.
     
  8. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Sounds like house rules around here!

    :-)
     
  9. fng

    fng Member

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    Thanks everybody.
     

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