Saturday, April 16, 2011

Garlic Gardening Advice Needed...

     Calling all gardeners!  I need garlic advice.  Before I get too far, I want to thank Jenni at the Rainy Day Gardener blog.  She asked for advice about one of her gardens and it opened my eyes to the wealth of knowledge out there. 

   My husband and I went to Wal-Mart today to by a giant bag of dog food for our little mutt.  Suddenly I heard something calling my name.  By golly it was the gardening section.  My husband was on his own and I was digging through bags of sad looking bulbs begging to be taken home and planted.  Finally, I settled on a bag of garlic.  I have always wanted to grow garlic and the bed I wanted to put it in is actually melted off today.  That may not be the case tomorrow, as snow is in the forecast.   Some wonderful looking blackberries weren't so lucky.  I couldn't bring them home, because the orchard is still under a foot of snow (I double checked when we got home). 

   Anyway, all garlic gardening advice is appreciated.  I am a zone 3.  Break it to me gently if garlic isn't hardy for zone 3.  Please send your advice as soon as possible as it is supposed to by yucky starting tomorrow.  Here are some things I would like to know:

Should I not plant it if it is still freezing or snowing outside?
I am supposed to break the bulbs into cloves and plant those?
How deep do the little buggers go?
How much space in between?
When do I get to pull them up and use them?
Any fertilizers that work better than others?
Any companion plants?
Anybody that shouldn't be a neighbor?
How big do they get?
Should I be planting it in the spring?
If I can't plant them in the spring do I hide them in the basement until fall?
Get the feeling I don't know anything about garlic?

Yes, I know I could look all of this up.  It seems way more enjoyable getting it from friends.  Thank you for any advice you can throw my way.  I will be anxiously watching for your comments, kind of like how Ella anxiously watches the turkeys.


  1. Zone 3 - I want to reach out and hug you! I haven't "met" another zone 3 gardener blogging yet! We have a wonderful program on our local PBS station called great gardening, and this past week one of the experts said that garlic should be planted in our area in the fall. Here's a link to what the U of MN says about growing garlic here - I'd imagine it would be similar advice for you.
    Good luck!

  2. Hi there, I have always grown garlic. In the UK the quick way of working out when to plant was to think "plant on the shortist day and harvest on the longest". This works in normal winters. I think you would be better to plant when the ground is a bit warmer (not freezing). Yes you break the garlic into individual cloves and plant so that you can just see the top. You should also plant with the moon. (see some of my January posts about this) other wise they will push up. I planted mine, then read about this and, yes, they all pushed up, although it doesn't seem to have stopped them growing. I'll be posting about the vegetable garden later this week, so you'll be able to see how and when I do things. I know you'll do them at different times but I hope the info will help. Christina

  3. Hi Bonnie, its Christina again. thanks for your comments. Regarding the tulips. I don't lift them and most flower for a second or even third year. I'll post soon about which varieties reflower the best. The important thing is that they must not be watered during summer. If it rains a lot where you are, you should lift them. There other tricks, Too muchto say here. PS I love the table. Christina

  4. I agree with Billie Jo...garlic needs to be planted in the Fall, just like your daffodils! Go for Spring onions and hold onto the garlic bulbs until Fall (keep them in the refrigerator until then and hopefully they won't start sprouting.) Shame on Wal-Mart for having them out at this time! Good luck, XOXO

  5. Thanks for the strawberry advice on my blog - thought you may be more likely to catch my follow up question on your own - if I didn't pinch any runners last year (year one), should I do that this spring?

  6. Plant garlic in fall with cloves base down, 2-3 inches deep. Where snow cover is poor, they can be planted in spring. Height is 1-2 feet tall; Location is in full sun in light soil. Lift out bulbs as leaves wither and dry bulbs in shade or in a dry room. Store in cool dry place. They can be planted among tomatoes and roses as they repel many pests. Do not allow them to flower. Hope this helps and good luck.

  7. You have lots of advise here so I will just stop in and say Hello. You have the most beautiful front porch; I can see myself sitting in a chair with a cup of tea and just relaxing.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. This is so much fun having so many beautiful garden friends to visit.

  8. Beautiful house! Beautiful yard! I enjoyed this site on garlic. I also planted it for the first time this past fall.

  9. Geeze, I wish I could give you advice on garlic, but I have not planted any before...just lots of tomatoes and such. I have always wanted to plant garlic as well. What's stopping me? I don't know..that is a good question! Good luck with your garlic.

  10. I plant in the fall but saying that my friend plants now,her bulbs are not as big but equally tasty.
    A good rule of thumb for all bulbs is 3 times the depth of the bulb,pointy end up.
    I plant them 6" apart and cover with 6-8" of straw,they are then weed free all year,don't worry they will come up through the straw.

  11. I would plant the individual cloves as early as you can. Worst case is that you should have eight to ten times as many cloves to plant next fall! Any that grow to edible size will be a bonus. I think garlic is native to the Asian mountain regions. So it is tough stuff. Go for it. I planted the little bulblets from hard garlic last year, and they are coming along. Just planted the end of my shriveled up garlic from last summer to see if it will revive. What is the downside? Definitely plant out garlic or onions that sprout inside. Don't throw them away!

  12. I just started growing garlic last year, but my friend and mentor, Rita, says that you have to pluck off the long stem that comes up from them. (I guess it's a flower head or something.) She says it's really important to pluck it off.

    Thanks for 'following' me, I'm going to follow your blog as well. I love the blue muscari (I think that's what they are) mixed with the pink tulips in your header photo.

  13. I've been wanting to try Garlic as well. Let me know how it goes and I might try it this fall or next spring.


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