Garlic Time!

| 11/23/2011 10:10:13 AM



 Its garlic time again!  Sorry if I sound a little excited but for a gardener who is already getting weary of fall and the prospect of a coming winter garlic provides a welcome reprieve.  There's something about peeling the skin away thats akin to unwrapping a present.  The separation of the cloves becomes a zen-like experience. 

Its actually tough to find decisive advice on when to plant garlic.  Common wisdom states that either spring or fall planting is correct.  However what most don't state is that the garlic needs a period of chill to essentially break dormancy.  If you plant in in last fall/early winter you don't have to worry about that.  And as long as you plant the garlic deep enough and mulch well you won't have to worry about the winter harming the cloves.  Plus when I plant the varieties I grow around the first of November here in Kentucky I get a harvest in time for my tomato harvest.  The choice is pretty obvious to me. 

But I have planted garlic around April.  That garlic was already sprouting in the humid air.  I got a crop but the bulbs were obviously smaller. 

The recommended planting depth is 1-2".  I don't get out the ruler though when I plant.  I find that any depth in that range is fine.  I then cover with at least an inch of mulch.  The pointy side (away from the root ball) goes up by the way.  When I let my three year old plant the cloves with me I had to constantly remind him.  Eventually I just went behind him and corrected the ones that had fell (when he wasn't looking of course). 

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