If your gonna grow garlic this fall..

English: A basket of garlic (allium sativum) o...

English: A basket of garlic (allium sativum) offered for sale at the farmers’ market in Rochester, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re gonna grow garlic this fall, and I suggest you do, this month is the time to get your beds ready for it. Add lots of aged horse manure and some greensand to your bed. Then turn it over and wait till October to put the garlic in (you should be ordering now). Don’t worry if we have a freezing night or two in October, it won’t hurt the garlic as the ground won’t actually freeze until later (like December) and the garlic will start to send its roots down, getting a good headstart for spring. I ordered my garlic about 2 weeks ago and am getting some softneck and hardneck varieties which will arrive in October. It’s such an easy crop to grow and the flavor is far superior to store-bought garlic that it’s one crop I always grow in the fall. Just remember to put lots of straw on it as a mulch AFTER the nights start to freeze and pick a bed that you won’t need right away next summer as the garlic won’t be ready till late June-July.

The reason I grow hardneck is for the outstanding flavor although it has a shorter shelf life and must be used up in a few months. The reason I grow softneck garlic is because it has a longer shelf life up to 10 months and there are many tasty varieties of it as well. Besides I’m looking forward to braiding softneck garlic which will be a challenge as I never learned how to braid hair!

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4 comments on “If your gonna grow garlic this fall..

  1. Jennifer says:

    What is greensand? I am just now preparing my garlic from this year — some for drying and some for planting. And of course, a box to store in the cold pantry.

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    • Greensand is a mineral called glauconite, which is found on the ocean floor and mined for use as an organic slow-release fertilizer (0-0-3) and soil conditioner and is one of the best certified organic sources of potassium. I got it at a local nursery in the soil amendment section. It improves plant health in general and is also be used to loosen heavy, clay soils. It will also improve the moisture retention of sandy soils. Potassium (K) is a very important nutrient for increasing garlic yields.

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  2. Hi! Thank you for all these posts about garlic! I just got a couple of super-discounted elephant garlic bulbs for planting– about half the cloves are still healthy and able to plant. I’m wondering if I could put them in the ground soon, even though I wouldn’t be harvesting them until next July. Is it possible to let them go too long in the ground? I’m not as concerned about them producing a lot of bulb, mostly wanting to try them out as a smelly “border” around my raised box to slightly deter some of the critters that have knocked out many of my small starts. Would appreciate any comments you might have about that, and if you have any suggestions for what I can be planting now to replace the starts that the mice took down. Thanks!

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    • Sure you could put them in the ground now. who knows, the bulbs might be ready by late fall. The best time to plant garlic is in fall, then it comes up in the spring and ready to harvest mid-summer. That way you would get the biggest bulbs but many people do plant in the spring and them harvest in late fall getting smaller bulbs. So plant away. Then plant more next fall in late October.

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