Friday, October 1, 2010

When to Plant Garlic

Many people I know have struggled growing garlic for one simple reason: They plant at the wrong time of year!  Having caught a terrible case of Cabin Fever over the winter; we as gardeners are always revved up and ready to grow in the spring.  But, to be successful with garlic you have to plant in the Fall.

Garlic is one of those plants that needs a bit of cold weather to help it break out of it's dormancy.  It can be planted in early spring with somewhat acceptable results, but generally you get lackluster results with smaller bulbs.

In Europe there is apparently a tradition of planting garlic on the shortest day of the year - the Winter Solstice.  In my Zone 5 garden the winter solstice falls on December 21st this year (2010).  We usually have snow and frozen ground by then - needless to say, it would be quite difficult to plant.  Most of the books I have read say that the best time to plant is about three weeks before your first hard frost.  Around here that is anywhere from the end of September to the end of October. (Although, if you've been reading my blog you know we had a killing frost this year on September 6th - somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature to look at the calendar!)  So, here I plant my garlic any time in September (October - if I forgot to in September).  It really is an easy plant to grow.

Follow my blog and next summer I will tell you when to harvest and how to create a braid of garlic.  Go out and plant your garlic now!

Get your hands dirty!


  1. I love fresh garlic especially if it comes from my garden. I will take it and dry it in my dehydrater and crush it up for Garlic powder ( it takes awhile but its worth it for the taste). When I do this my whole house smells like an Italian resterant. Thanks for the great info on it.

  2. Fresh garlic is so much better than the powdered stuff in a jar from a store! I have never tried to grow any of my own, but now I know I have to plant it now and not in the spring when I'm in full vegetable garden mode. :)

  3. duh! no wonder my garlic crop was a failure. I planted it in the spring with the green beans and zucchini and onions and carrotts and everything else. I feel REALLY stupid now!

  4. now if you could tell me what I did wrong with my asparagus, I would be eternally grateful!


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