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Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

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Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/22/2012, 5:31 pm

I am planting garlic for the first time and everything I have read about it just keeps confusing me more. You can plant it in the spring or the fall, I am planting it in the spring, and it's ready when the tops die off? Is there any "time frame" approx. that it is generally done. I really want this to work out because we could eat a head of garlic every dinner, yum. I am just unclear, if it helps I am in zone 4-5 and it is just regular garlic.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  camprn on 4/22/2012, 5:35 pm

My understanding is that you can grow garlic by planting this time of year, but generally the bulbs will be a bit smaller than if you have planted in the fall. My guess if you have not already planted it, and you plant it very soon, you should be ready for harvest at the end of the growing season, September or even October. Toss in a little bit of bone meal when you plant to give the bulbs a wee extra boost. I am in zone 5a our last frost is typically may 20th or so and first frost late September. I planted my garlic just before Halloween last year a whole 4x6 bed. about 5 cloves per square, but I meant to do 4 per.... The sun had already gone down, so I was planting in the deepening twilight with a massive snow storm breathing down my neck... the next day we got 2 feet of snow... Shocked
But they look good now.


Last edited by camprn on 4/22/2012, 5:45 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  plantoid on 4/22/2012, 5:37 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:I am planting garlic for the first time and everything I have read about it just keeps confusing me more. You can plant it in the spring or the fall, I am planting it in the spring, and it's ready when the tops die off? Is there any "time frame" approx. that it is generally done. I really want this to work out because we could eat a head of garlic every dinner, yum. I am just unclear, if it helps I am in zone 4-5 and it is just regular garlic.




Look in the charts in the back of the ANSFG book 2006 edition .pages 265 look at the onion bit on the lower half of the page and transpose it to your calender wrt last frost , it won't be far wrong .

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  Grandpop on 4/22/2012, 8:19 pm

Well, let me tell you what NOT to do . . .

I purchased some garlic from Lowes that came 3 to a pack. So, this being my first time, I took them home and planted the three garlic in a square. Wasn't long before up they came . . . green stems just shooting up and blowing in the wind. They grew and grew and really looked good.

It was then I learned I should have separated each of the "sections" and planted them in several different squares.

Oh, well, guess I'll wait til season's end and see what happens. Embarassed

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/22/2012, 8:51 pm

Wow Campryn, your garlic bed looks awesome, thanks for the picture. It is just hard to believe that you can put it in the ground right before winter! I will deffinately try it this fall. When will you get to harverst it ish?

Plantoid, thanks, I will remember that. I must have had a blonde moment Wink !

It is still nice to see other gardener's pictures and hear the advice, it makes it more realistic!

Grandpop, that's hilarious! So what did it look like when you pulled them up? Razz That sounds like something I would have done!

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  CindiLou on 4/22/2012, 9:26 pm

I did a 4x6 bed of garlic. Planted it around Halloween. My zone is 5a. Planted
5 to a square. May only do 4 next time as the middle one seems to be getting squashed in some squares.

It got a little roughened up by the hail last week but is doing great!


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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  GWN on 4/22/2012, 9:50 pm

Hi there
I have tried to grow it, by planting in the spring, and really only got one clove for each plant.
I read that you need to have the cold to make the clove split.

Perhaps see what others say, but i would put all your efforts into a great fall planting.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/22/2012, 10:43 pm

If planted in fall, like we do here in Oregon, the individual cloves spend most of the next 6 months forming a root system and preparing for Spring. Come Spring, the lengthening daylight will cause the garlic clove to send up leaves, and, if your garlic is a hard neck variety, it will also begin to create a scape. Scapes only form on the more primitive kinds of garlic. But these types are also often the most flavorful. Softneck garlics do not send up scapes (with their collection of 'bulbils' at the apex), but they do have fleshy stems/leaves which make it easy to braid them for culinary use/decoration. Ah, scapes! We definitely look forward to their appearance, as they are delicious cut, steamed and served almost any way asparagras is, but they are tastier....and they don't make your urine smell, uh, funky....well, that's for another post. There are so many different types of garlic, it can encourage one to experiment for decades to find the most perfect (for them) garlic strain. PapaVino and I are still experimenting, and it's a most tasty experiment! Check out this website for more, and more professional, information: http://www.filareefarm.com/growing.html

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/22/2012, 11:07 pm

That's a great website, I think I will order some for this fall! I think I am still going to try a spring planting though. I am trying to figure out what kind of garlic I have, it looks like the normal garlic you buy in the grocery store... Hmmm.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/22/2012, 11:12 pm

Cheyannarach, check out a garlic variety called Music. I hear it grows very well in areas like South Dakota. Keep us posted.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/22/2012, 11:25 pm

I will give it a try Nonna, I just did a quick google search and found some! Do you know if garlic typically get done in the spring or does it vary a lot from the different types? I would love to plant a big bed in the fall like campryn but worry it won't be done on time to plant summer veggies.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  GWN on 4/22/2012, 11:36 pm

I read a great article in Mother Earth News a few years ago that said that you plant your winter squashes in the bed where you harvest your garlic.
So you start your winter squash in doors in May or early June so that they are ready to transplant the beginning of July when you harvest the garlic.
It did work for me in Oregon.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  walshevak on 4/22/2012, 11:43 pm

I have winter squash and pole beans penciled in as the later crop in my garlic bed. I figger mid July. Fortunately I will have 3 more months of grow time. Planted my garlic the first week of Nov.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  Turan on 4/23/2012, 12:30 am

I used to plant garlic in the spring and it did fine. I am not sure I get bigger cloves or not planting in the fall, but it is nice to have something done ahead of time. Go ahead and plant them, and see how it goes.
I plant them on grid lines about every 6 inches. Then in the spring I plant leaf lettuce and spinach and radishes in the squares with them. They also interplant with beets and beans well.

We also look forward to the scapes but I do not remember them with spring planted garlic.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/23/2012, 1:09 am

Thanks GWN, that will help a lot except now I realized I started my squash way too early, lol.

Turan, I am going to plant it in the spring (tomorrow actually) even if they aren't very big heads it will be a good learning experiment. Do you do winter squash? Because I have a whole bunch of spaghetti squash already started, the first ones are starting to get there first true leaves, will they do okay in their pots until it's time to transplant? I have never done squash....Embarassed

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/23/2012, 1:12 am

I am also curious to know more about exactly what scapes are?

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  subsonic on 4/23/2012, 2:40 am

I have done both, spring and fall
same bed different years
since switching to fall I get a lot more come harvest then when planting in spring

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  camprn on 4/23/2012, 7:00 am

@cheyannarach wrote:I am also curious to know more about exactly what scapes are?
Scapes ate the flower stalk that grows on the hardneck variety of garlic. Soft neck will not produce scapes.
Scapes are delicious.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  Turan on 4/23/2012, 11:28 am

@cheyannarach wrote:Thanks GWN, that will help a lot except now I realized I started my squash way too early, lol.

Turan, I am going to plant it in the spring (tomorrow actually) even if they aren't very big heads it will be a good learning experiment. Do you do winter squash? Because I have a whole bunch of spaghetti squash already started, the first ones are starting to get there first true leaves, will they do okay in their pots until it's time to transplant? I have never done squash....Embarassed

I have not started my squash yet, next week or this week if I get impatient. It does not like being transplanted much so I often end up skipping the starts and plant seeds in a heat well. I never have planted squash in my garlic bed. THey over lap too much in garden timing for me and squash need lots of sprawling room. I tuck garlic at corners of squares making my grid actually for spring planting of greens. Find a spot you can root your squash and it can roam from, they are unruly plants but fun. I am trying spaghetti squash for the first time this year at special request from my sons. My usual is butter cup and Fisher's Mountaineer.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/23/2012, 12:44 pm

All the pots I use are the ones you plant straight in the ground so hopefully that will help with transplanting them. I am planning on getting a few cattle panel trellis put up and doing the cukes, squash, and melons on that (my father in law says I am wasting my time on the melons but I still gotta try). I had to work this morning 6-2 so I am itching to get out of here to go plant my garlic and onions! Oh I could do the taters too!

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  elysia on 4/23/2012, 1:24 pm

We planted just a few last fall (October I think) as an experiment (it was hard for me to believe they would survive the winter too) and they are all doing great...however we did have a really mild winter - especially down here in Rapid with regard to snow acc.

Will repeat this fall with more bulbs now that I know it can actually work.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  quiltbea on 4/23/2012, 1:42 pm

Mine planted last October are growing pretty well this spring but I made a mistake I won't repeat. I used my best orgainically grown cloves for cooking and planted the smaller cloves in my garden. That's a no-no I understand. Its the largest cloves one should plant to get the largest garlic bulbs. I'll find out for sure this summer when I harvest.



The green bits are my garlic coming up 2 wks ago on April 10th.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/23/2012, 1:44 pm

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought it might not work, have you ever done a spring planting Elysia?

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  quiltbea on 4/23/2012, 1:52 pm

@elysia....Even if you had a heavy snow winter, your garlic would do alright. Mine the year before was buried under a blanket of snow most of the winter. I had covered them with several inches of straw in late fall so they were insulated. My harvest the following summer was just fine. Don't worry about over-wintering garlic.


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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

Post  plantoid on 4/23/2012, 3:04 pm

For those stil contemplating trying to grow garlic this year ..

I have gleaned this bit of info this afternoon

Garlic likes to be strattified ..

ie. Given a session of cold to stimulate the seed germ so it will start growing.

Best of all there is a set of temperatures & a length of time given to do it.

0 to 4 oC or 32 to 40 oF for 7 to 14 days ,

So , this afternoon I have slipped a whole garlic bulb into the fridge ( ours is set at 3o C ) & will plant it as split off cloves in 10 days time .

Would any of you contemplating doing this as an experiment please also add to the thread , it may be that the cloves bolt and go to seed as many bulblets that appear on a flower or split up at the ground end into multiple small bulbs .

This could be an interesting exercise for if this happens we will have got way of cheap massive reproduction for late autumn /early winter time plantings.

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Re: Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garlic grow?

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