I made this video to show you how to plant garlic in the fall, which is the best time to plant garlic, FYI. Watch the vid then read through the how to notes below, there's lots of info here!
To Plant Garlic, Do These Things:
- Order garlic ahead of time
- Prepare the garden bed
- Separate the cloves
- Plant root side down
- Wait Until Next July
Probably the biggest mistake people make when they want to plant garlic is to wait too long before ordering some seed garlic. The stuff sells out fast, so order early. The seed garlic supplier will ship just before planting time in your area. I order from Filaree Farm. Most seed garlic is not cheap, but keep in mind you will get many plants from one bulb. You can save your own seed garlic going forward.
You can obsess about prepping the garden bed for the seed garlic, or just do as I do. I make sure the bed has a good mix of compost and soil. Loosen the soil up with a garden fork. Garlic likes some nitrogen, so I sprinkle over the bed some time release fertilizer. I do add some rock powder like azomite, but I can't say it makes a big difference, its just feels right. I can say that garlic does not like clay soils, or soils that are too sandy, but isn't that true for most garden vegetables?
The ideal is to plant garlic 2 weeks before the hard frost in your area. For those in warm weather areas, you will usually plant between November and January.
Why Separate The Day Before?
Depending on who is doing the talking, some say you must separate the cloves of the garlic bulbs the day before, I don't. Usually because I forget, and I have yet to see a difference in doing so. I would suggest getting some help splitting up the bulbs. Many hands make light work.
I plant garlic about 6″ apart in rows about 8-10″ apart. Its not rocket science. Garlic doesn't like to be crowded, and it doesn't do well with weeds. Plant about 2″ down, with the root tip facing down. The grow tip should be about an inch below the soil.
I don't mulch my garlic with straw. I will put down a light layer of leaves I have run through the mulching mower, but its not a thick layer.
If your garlic starts to grow in the fall, don't worry, the green tip will die back a bit with the frost, and will restart in the spring.
What to do in spring? Watch more of our how to grow garlic vids here.