Gardening

Time to plant garlic

Since I ordered my garlic bulbs way back in the spring, I was not thinking of them at all when they arrived in the mail several days ago.

I got those garlic cloves into the ground right away even though they could have been planted anytime from October through November. Getting them in earlier gives them a chance to put down some roots and get nestled in for the winter.

When garlic for planting arrives, it looks just like a bulb from the grocery store produce department.

You have to separate the cloves yourself before planting.

I planted my garlic around 4 to 6 inches apart in the row.

Dig your planting holes deep enough so each clove can be covered with an inch or two of soil.

It’s critical to place the cloves in the soil with the root end down.

Once the cloves are planted, I like to place a layer of straw or similar mulch over them. It helps to keep the soil at an even temperature reducing the possibility of the cloves frost-heaving. Heaving can damage the roots.

In the past, I’ve had to postpone my garlic planting until well into November and the crop seemed to do quite well despite the delay.

You have to plan ahead if you want to grow garlic because when planting time rolls around, you very likely will not be able to find any cloves available to buy. So put in on your calendar for next spring to place your garlic order. Then one day next fall, without you thinking of it, a package with your garlic bulbs will arrive in the mail.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.