Been growing garlic for forty years and still don’t know what I’m doin’!
But that’s because there’s a lot of leeway. At the easy-peasy take what you get and be happy with it end of the scale there was the guy that just rototilled his mature garlic every year, took the ones that made it to the top and left the rest for next year! Most of us, though, try to be a little more particular than that.
I found three sources that sound like they speak well and from experience, and here they are:
Short answer- you get a lot of wiggle room on this one. Here in Zone 4 to 5 I’ll be planting in the next week or two, and since I had my garlic freeze out once years ago I will mulch. Just get it in the ground well before the ground freezes, from the sound of things.
Thanks for the links. Good information. And, as you stated, a lot of leeway.
I am preparing to try my first fall planting. Being in zone 7a, I ordered both hardneck and softneck to try out. The bed will be a raised 10x4. It is being built at the moment. The following source is the one I decided to use primarily.
Their approach is 45 to 50 days prior to the first freeze. I may already be past that. The garlic has not arrived yet. But, as your sources state, there seems to be some variations of opinion as to the best time.
im z3b/4a and i always put my garlic in before oct 1 and have had 100% survivability with no mulch. that said we have tons of snow so no need to mulch. it does so well here i was considering growing it to sell. got Georgian fire going in this year. i like garlic with kick!
I’m in 7A as well (but a different part of the country) and I generally target November sometime around the first frost to put in garlic, basically when I’m pulling out the last of the tomato and pepper plants. It does fine for me. I know some that get it in earlier, around now, and I’ve planted it as late as late January and still got about the same crop. I think timing is more important in colder areas where they have a long winters and need to get it started before it gets really cold and the garlic stops growing.
The interesting thing is that when I planted it in late January, it still matured around the same time it always does and I didn’t feel the bulbs were any smaller. Although it was a pretty mild winter.
Thanks for the reminder! I’ll plant this week. Garlic has been probably the only crop that has been foolproof for me here. Only problem is I just can’t ever grow enough of it! I’m trying to make it through the winter without having to buy it.
Probably a dumb question…I’m debating giving my new chickens occasional access to to the beds the garlic will be in. Do you think they’ll bother it or will the smell put them off from digging it up?? probably wishful thinking! I need a bigger space.
We could not plant in October. We planted some in November, but wet weather and traveling kept us from doing as much as we wanted. We didn’t entirely finish planting garlic until the first week in March. Although the March-planted garlic was a bit smaller, soil conditions seemed to be more of a factor in size of bulbs.