Friday, October 29, 2010

Planting the Garlic

I had a few days off from work last week allowing me to putter around the garden and accomplish the final garden cleanup before winter. As I pulled out the peppers and eggplants, I pondered on the best area to plant garlic.

I used one of the 4x4 SFGs to grow garlic last year and thought it worked really well to have an entire bed devoted to one crop since the watering and fertilizer needs were the same. Once the garlic was harvested, I was able to plant the bed with fall carrots.

I decided to keep the planting of garlic all in one bed once again, so that eliminated four of the six SFGs because they still had some fall crops growing in some of the squares. This left only two beds to choose from for the garlic. I picked one and added some compost, some fertilizer, and leveled off the soil.

The garlic seed came from the largest bulbs from this year’s harvest of Romanian Red and Purple Glazier. Romanian Red produced larger bulb with larger cloves and have a mild garlic flavor. The Purple Glazier produced smaller cloves but had a more intense garlic flavor. 

I used a scrap piece of 2x3 and marked a line every 6-inches. I actually marked along the walls of the bed as well so I could keep everything straight. These marks will fade over time.

I measured and plotted the holes for the garlic spacing them 6-inches apart and 4-inches deep (making sure the tops of the cloves were at least 2-inches beneath the soil surface). 

Rain was predicted, so I let mother nature water the garlic bed to settle the soil. This bed will later be covered with a 2-4 inches of shredded leaves to provide some extra insulation for the winter:


  1. I guess it was the week to plant garlic. I finally got mine planted yesterday. I usually devote an entire bed to the garlic as well. This year, however, I had to plant mine in between some other crops.

    Very nice step by step instructions.

  2. I don't think I got mine as deep as yours, but our winters aren't as harsh either. Hope mine do okay!

  3. I was out planting my garlic today. I put mine in the little potager area. I figure behind the garlic I'll plant lettuce. It ought to be pretty that way.

  4. Robin: Yes, I am reading a lot of garlic plantings blog postings this week.

    Ribbit: The depth is recommended for colder climates to help prevent frost from heaving the garlic out of the ground over the winter.

    Daphne: That does sound pretty. I can't wait to watch your new garden grow.

  5. I use an entire bed for alliums for the same reasons you described. I planted the garlic a few weeks ago and they only took up 1/4th of the large bed, but the rest of the area was amended and will be home to the onions and leeks next spring.

  6. Looks great! If I'm going to plant this year, it's going to be supermarket garlic as I forgot to buy any seed garlic. The saved stuff didn't work out too well. Good for you.

  7. What organization!!! Sigh... one of these days I'm going to plant garlic! Looking forward to reading about your harvest... many months from now!

  8. I planted garlic today - 2 4x4 beds worth, about 120 cloves worth (4 different varieties; 3 hardneck and 1 softneck). This past garlic season was our first time planting garlic and we were pleased with the results. I haven't figured out yet how many bulbs we really go through during the year, but judging from the number still in storage in the basement, I may be giving a few bulbs away as part of homegrown Christmas gifts.