We always plant garlic in the fall (Syracuse NY, zone 5.something). The
stalks start yellowing in early or mid-July, and we harvest in late July
or early August.
July is when we (often) get our best sun and warmth, and the rest of the
garden really takes off then - just when the garlic is falling over. I
wonder if we might be better to plant it in the spring, so it could
benefit from that time. A later crop would be OK, if it meant larger
Any thoughts appreciated.
They start yellowing in July. I usually harvest in mid to late July,
when the top three leaves still show some green.
Normally I reprep the bed and follow on with lettuce and bok choy
for fall harvest, but it was so flipping dry this year (except for one
week at the end of August where it rained enough to ruin some of
what I was growing -- exploding tomatoes and butternut squash!?!)
that that fall planting didn't happen.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Are you planting hardneck or softneck? Here in Colorado we plant
Hardneck because it's much more cold resistant. We plant in the fall
and harvest late August. We're in Zone 2-4. It may also have to do
with your source. I get mine from Seeds of Change ( Russian Giant,
Spanish Roja, German White). Taken from a website: (http://
When to sow
warm temperate areas - generally speaking, it can be planted in autumn
through to early winter. Under warm temperate climatic conditions
autumn planted garlic will remain dormant for a few weeks, then
develop roots and a shoot. With the onset of the cold of winter growth
is fairly slow until temperatures warm in spring. The cold of winter
is needed to initiate the side buds that will ultimately grow and
swell to become cloves (and in some types, to initiate the flower
bud). The lengthening days of spring are the signal for the initiated
but undeveloped side buds to start forming into cloves. It is possible
to sow in early spring and get a reasonably good harvest, but
everything is against you - wet, difficult to work soil; no early root
growth; less exposure to winter chill. Early Spring is possible, but
definitely a second choice.
Temperate areas- plant after the first good frosts of autumn. Spring
planting is possible in the higher latitudes, as the longer day
lengths promote bulbing, but the shorter season means the bulbs are
often smaller. Autumn garlic will produce roots, but either no, or
short, top growth. If the garlic sprouts have emerged, they will
survive freezes and snowfalls, but they should be mulched heavily
(about 15 cm/6 inches) to prevent heaving. Pull the mulch aside in
spring. Autumn planted garlic will have strong roots by winters icy
grip, and these roots will help prevent the 'seed' being pushed out of
the ground as the soil alternately freezes and thaws ('frost heave').
Let me know if it's helpful,
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