Too early to plant garlic in central MD?


I got my seed garlic today from Territorial Seed.

I determined that my lack of success this year was due to extremely acidic soil in the garlic bed, which I have remedied. I also planted a bit later than ideal last year, but is it still too early to plant at this point?


It’s getting close. I plant October 15th in 6a You probably need to plant Nov 1st.


I think it’s still a little early. I’m in central MD, and my rule of thumb has always been to plant between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Never failed me in 20 years (though this year was not great).


Not sure I understand the concept , …" Too early"
I believe garlic wants to be in the ground.
Such that if you harvested one day , and planted it the next , it would be happy.
It will come up when it wants.
The earlier plantings have Allways done the best for me.
30+ yrs growing garlic here , zone 6
What could be the disadvantage of early planting ?


Excessively advanced growth dying from a freeze?


Garlic that sits in the ground gets dormant in later summer and slowly wakes up when the weather gets cool and wet. The garlic that is taken out of he ground is dormant too, but it uses to much dryer condition, so as soon as you place it in soil, it wakes up and start growing, and green garlic before winter weather - this is what we want to avoid for best production. Ideally it only should grow roots before the winter, not tops. I usually plant after a first frost. We didn’t get any even in MA.


planted mine 2 days ago. kind of late as we have had 3 good frosts down to 26f already but i always plant oct 1st. with no loses. z3b/4a. put in Georgian Fire from Keene garlic. 1st. time trying this variety.


Here is a good article on planting garlic:


Trying out garlic for the first time. Purchased 3 types (Nootka Rose, Purple Glazer, Music) from Gurney’s and they arrived today. Unfortunately, I got home too late to get out there with my daughter and start planting. The directions basically say plant immediately. I put them back in the box and would like to give it a go tomorrow in the early evening. Is this the right time to plant for my zone, 7A?


Now’s good- get them in before the ground freezes, water thoroughly, mulch to prevent freezeout/frost heave seems to work for me.

Good luck and have fun!


Absolutely… However, another issue just arose. I checked the forecast and it looks like rain for the next few days. Not sure how my daughter will handle being out there with me while the rain comes down. She was very excited when I told her we needed to do some new planting after we opened the package today. I guess we can share the duties of umbrella holding.


I myself would plant around November 1st in your zone, but it doesn’t matter that much. So wait till the weather is better. You have plenty of time. Usually before a rain is always good!
I’m in 5b/6a and I don’t plant till Oct 15th. I was prepping the bed today, not done yet, getting close.


I’ll need a rain first just to be able to dig. It’s so dry everything is hard as a rock. We’ve had less than 2/10 of an inch of rain since September 1 here.

If it doesn’t change in the next couple weeks I’ll probably just stick the sprinkler out there and start wetting it down.


its feast or famine for you folks in MD isn’t it? your either flooding or drought conditions. i can’t remember the last time we had conditions like that here. theres always a shower or 2 that hits when its dry out.


Most of the mid Atlantic and Southeast seems to fall into that category. Feast or famine.

Even yesterday, I watched the heavy line of showers approaching dissolve as it got to us. I got 0.05”.


Since then, we have received almost 5” of rain. More coming tomorrow.

I am going to plant the garlic. Freeze expected this weekend.

Do you fertilize at planting or wait until spring?


I put down composted manure before planting. I plan to put some shredded leaves on top before winter. This would be all the food the garlic needs.


Joe is right on the money here. Give the garlic all the food it needs in the fall, and you won’t have to worry about it next year. I’ve also used straight compost with good success, but a little manure wouldn’t hurt.


composted manure and a sprinkle of bone meal and dolomite lime just before planting. :wink:


Here are the 3 types of garlic planted last fall.