Today’s episode is all about planting garlic! Garlic is a member of the Allium family, which also includes onions, leeks, scallions, and chives. In most climates, garlic is planted in the late fall and harvested mid-summer the following year. That means this is perfect time to start sourcing garlic seed, and we’re here to help you get ready. Join us as we chat about selecting garlic seed, explore the differences between softneck and hardneck garlic, and, of course, discuss planting techniques and tips.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Garlic seed propagation and local adaptation
- The garlic life cycle, and what that means for timing your planting
- Different types of garlic, including softneck, hardneck, and elephant garlic
- How to plant and care for your garlic
- Source your seed now, particularly if you are looking for organic types!
- Garlic has a different life cycle than just about any other crop in the annual garden. It is planted in the fall because it requires a period of vernalization in order to successfully differentiate, meaning divide into new cloves. If you live in a region where the temperatures do not dip below 50 degrees for an extended period of time, you can simulate natural vernalization by leaving your seed in the refrigerator for 6-12 weeks before planting.
- There are three types of garlic: Softneck, Hardneck and Elephant. When selecting which types to plant, you'll want to consider the different qualities of each type and plant based on your goals. For example long term storage vs. big cloves or very strong taste.
- Plant your garlic in loose soil, 5-6 inches apart and 2-3 inches deep with the pointy side up. If you are planting in a region where the ground freezes and thaws regularly, you may want to plant a little deeper to keep the cloves from being pushed out of the soil during the temperature changes.
- Garlic will stay in your garden until mid-summer, so plan accordingly!
Heard on the Episode:
“Garlic seed producers run out of seed pretty quickly, particularly if you are looking for organic types. So that you have the widest range of options when selecting varieties, it’s best to order sooner than later.” - Hilary Dahl
“The first time I planted garlic, which was only a couple of years ago, I remember thinking, how can one clove grow into a whole head... it's like magic!” - Kellie Phelan
For an excellent resource on growing garlic, check out this book by Ron L. England of Filagree Garlic Farm:
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