Sowing garlic or warding off vampires?

As Matthew noted in a previous guest post on growing garlic, recommendations for planting next year’s garlic crop in our region range from August through October (i.e., plant in fall of 2012 for June 2013 harvest).   October feels appropriate, with vampires on the prowl for Halloween.

He planted this past Saturday (October 13th), just a few days after last year’s planting date.  The previous weekend, he prepared the soil and set up a twine grid as a guide — neat and precise.

He saved the biggest cloves from the biggest, healthiest bulbs (we eat the “rejects”).  These, in turn, should generate mores bulbs with large cloves, so that eventually all the garlic we grow will have nice, big cloves.

I peeled the very outer layer of papery skin off of the bulbs and gently separated the cloves.  Matthew and his mom planted over 100 cloves of garlic (which means we should harvest more than 100 bulbs come June), and we still have a nice amount for eating, though I imagine we’ll run out before we harvest the 2013 crop.

The little gardener came out (sans pants) after his nap to make sure they followed proper planting protocol, and he declared the garden a vampire-free zone, adding that we could leave the biting and sucking to him.


  1. Matthew says:

    So we did plant over 100 cloves of garlic. But you also could say we planted over 600 cloves. The actual tally was 648 cloves, 624 cloves of 11 varieties of “regular” garlic, and 24 cloves of elephant garlic, which we love to roast. I’m told there may be a picture of my planting excel table coming soon

  2. Kim says:

    I’m glad you have the appropriate supervision for the garden!!!

  3. EcoCatLady says:

    Holy Moly! That’s a LOT of garlic!

    I’ve got a rather bizarre garlic situation. Most of mine died off during the drought this past spring/summer. I harvested what I could, but apparently I missed a row because it started sending up shoots about a month ago. Not sure if I should cover it and see if it will winter over, or dig it up, or plant more or what. But since my garden is currently covered with 3 inches of snow, it might be a moot point!

  4. mattbme says:

    WIth 3 inches of snow, it might be a moot point. I was tempted to suggest digging it up to separate the cloves (now plants). I think if it was my garden though I’d let it go. Even if your soil isn’t frozen solid, if you dig to separate them now, you’ll loose all the root growth they’ve put on. Snow insulates well, so if your snow cover will stick, I’d just leave it. If you’re prone to freeze thaw cycles, I’d go ahead and throw some mulch on it. I use about 4″ of chopped leaves, you’d want more or less depending on your temperatures. Some people prefer straw. I’d normally mulch well below freezing, but mulching now and pulling the mulch off about the same time you’d be planting peas would be my suggestion. Also you are likely to have odd bulbs from this, since you’re starting from bulbs instead of single cloves, but they should still be good for eating and for replanting large cloves.

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