As the weather turns cooler and you begin putting your garden to bed for winter, don’t forget that fall is the prime time for planting garlic! Here’s how…
Cooler weather is upon us, and although it may be a bit late in the game for planting most crops, it’s perfect timing for planting garlic! Garlic is one of my favorite crops to grow. It’s easy, no-muss, no-fuss, and for the most part, produces a great crop. Just pop your cloves in the ground in the fall, mulch well, and enjoy a nice harvest the following summer!
Over several years of growing garlic, the main issues we have experienced have been weather-related. We’ve learned that garlic does NOT like soggy ground, so during wet summers, we generally have a lot of rotten cloves and sometimes even full bulbs that rot away while curing. However, a wet spring is okay, as long as the ground dries out a month or so before harvest. That’s what happened this year, and we had our best garlic harvest ever!
Since we can’t control the weather, and it seems to get more unpredictable every year, I have started simply planting extra garlic just in case. That way, if we have a good year, we just have even more garlic to enjoy – and who can’t use a little extra garlic? As a 2nd-generation Italian, we go through a LOT of garlic every year, as it goes into almost every meal we make!
I grow a hard-neck variety that my mom gave me several years ago, which she has been growing for almost 40 years back in Arkansas, where I grew up. (I’m hoping it will adapt over time to our heavier, wetter soil, and perhaps one day it will be less susceptible to rot.)
This video from Migardener will give you a quick tutorial on planting and growing this easy and versatile crop. Oh, and just a quick note: Although he says to plant about 30 days before your first frost, I have often planted past that date, and the garlic did just fine. You just want to make sure you give ample time before the ground freezes. Last year, I was running behind and didn’t get mine in the ground until early November, and it turned out wonderfully, so don’t worry if you’re a bit late – just get it planted, and give it a good mulch cover, and you should be fine!