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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Anniversary means Garlic Time

I think all gardeners have some of their planting times associated with holidays. Valentine’s is when we plant potatoes, MLK is when we plant short-day onion plants, and…. my anniversary is when we plant Garlic.
SMH what has gardening done to me.
Garlic planting time is to be done as close to the autumn solstice as possible (in TX Z8a); which just happens to be fairly close to our anniversary. Unfortunately, it has been raining the last two days, so we’re a few days late on the garlic planting.
My garlic is all ready to go. I have seven varieties and I stored them separately.
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I start by soaking my garlic. I soak with 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp fish emulsion to 1 gallon of water. I do this because these are the instructions that came with my garlic when I bought it. I have read that many don’t soak and have had no problem with fungi.
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Last year, I did cold treat (refrigerate) some my garlic for 4-6 weeks before planting. I found absolutely no difference between bulb size of those which were cold treated and those which were not. So, this year I didn’t bother with cold treating.
After soaking for 24 hours, it is time to plant. I work compost into the soil (if needed) and I make a phosphorus band 2” from where I will plant the cloves. While I do this, I soak the garlic (skins removed) in rubbing alcohol for 3-4 minutes. This is to remove any more diseases that the previous soak didn’t get (per the instructions I received).
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I then dig trenches to plant my bulbs 2-3” deep.
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I cover and water.
I haven’t had any luck with leeks, so this year I planted more elephant garlic (which is a leek). I also planted some elephant garlic bulbils that I got with my elephant garlic harvest earlier this year.
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I sure hope this year’s garlic turns out as good as last year’s did. Even with a mild winter, I had very nice sized bulbs for all varieties.


  1. Good luck with the garlic. A neighbor and friend of mine wants me to plant it,but I have felt a little afraid of planting it. I did plant a lot of onion seeds this year, but only a few came up. We will see if I can get them to grow.

    1. Last year was my first year and I was nervous as well. I did grow some garlic from the grocery store; so that could be a cheap way for you to give garlic growing a try.

  2. I am about to plant my garlic but I do the 'toss it in the ground' method!

    1. Last year I invested money in a gourmet garlic sampler (+grocery store garlic), so I followed all of the directions that came with the garlic. This year, I was too scared not to follow the same directions....but I'd bet that 'toss and grow' would give me the same results.