Garlic - a newbie question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello everyone....this may be a 'duh' question but here i am throwing it out there anyway...i'd like to plant some garlic and wondered if it was too late to do that and also wondered if i can use the garlic cloves that i would purchase in the grocery store?? Thanks for suggestiongs :) april

-- April Lowry (, November 05, 2001


Depends on where you are. I think it can be planted any time right up until freezing -- you want the roots to grow in a bit before freeze-up. I've planted the grocery store stuff -- it has worked fine for me. One of my organic gardening books that is published stateside says you should have it in by no later than Columbus Day.

-- Tracy (, November 05, 2001.

Hello April I always go by the old saying about garlic Plant defore the shortest day of the year Harvest before the longest day . That works fine in Louisians. Store bought garlic works fine too . I did plant some elephant garlic once and it still comes every year , but is too mild . Big George

-- George Wilson (, November 05, 2001.

April, Store bought will work and grows about as well as garlic grown for seed. We try to be as organic as possible so we don't plant store bought garlic. But it may be too late to order from a catalog. My garlic is up and about a foot tall. We have it mulched with old hay. If you arn't too far north, you still have time to plant. We are in SE Kansas.

-- Belle (, November 06, 2001.

Hello April, We plant ours at the end of August and we live in zone 5. Also, I have been concerned about planting grocery store garlic, potatoes, etc. as many of the have growth inhibitors on them to keep them from sprouting in the stores. Sincerely, Ernest

-- (, November 06, 2001.

I second the notion that you can plant it as long as you can work the ground. The idea is to get some root growth, but minimal top growth, before freeze up. Here in Maine I got a bit of a late start and it was late October this year, although I would have preferred a couple of weeks earlier. I have found it to be pretty forgiving though. And here where the temps usually go below zero for at least a while, it is considered good form to mulch. I didn't get to it last year, but we had a tremendous snow cover for mulch. Store bought garlic will work, but bear in mind that that is "softneck" garlic, which has the best keeping properties. There are dozens of "hardneck" varities that offer a much wider range of "flavors", from spicy to mild to downright HOT. They're worth experimenting with, especially is you can organize a swap or 2. GL!

-- Brad (, November 06, 2001.

April, I work at a vegetable farm/nursery/apple orchard and we both plant our own and sell seed garlic. We usually save the largest heads to plant out because they more or less clone themselves so if you plant a large head, all things being equal you should grow a large head. We recommend that people plant on Columbus Day and harvest in mid July, but garlic is, as has been said previously, very forgiving and as long as you can work the ground, you can put it in. You should plant it about 4-6 inches down, and mulch heavily. We use mulch hay and leave it on until harvest. In the spring when the garlic is growing, you can harvest the topsets (the funny curly things with the little devil's tail) and cut them up into stir-fry or whatever for a garlic taste. And if you put it in and it doesn't get a chance to set root, all you've done is add a small amount of nutrients to your soil and wasted a perfectly good garlic head...I'm sure that's forgivable!! You'll get them in earlier next year.

-- Sheryl in Me (, November 06, 2001.

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