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Planting and growing garlic

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 January 2010
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    Posted: 11 October 2018 at 10:22
I recently received the Chesnok Red Garlic that I ordered from https://www.seedsavers.org:

https://www.seedsavers.org/chesnok-red-organic-garlic

It looks great, and I can't wait to see how it does next year.

The garlic arrived with a helpful planting guide. You can access that guide online by following this link:

https://www.seedsavers.org/site/pdf/Garlic_GrowingGuide.pdf

Seed Savers also ahs an abbreviated version of the guide that you can find here:

https://www.seedsavers.org/grow-garlic

Here are some highlights:

Quote Garlic is a heavy nitrogen feeder that thrives in well-draining soil.

Plant after the first frost in the fall. The largest cloves grow the largest bulbs.

Gently separate the cloves from the bulb, being careful nt to remove the papery skins from the cloves.

Plant each clove root end down, pointed end up, 6 to 8 inches apart.

Cover with 2 inches of soil and 6 inches of mulch. Grass clippings mixed with leaves, straw or hay is ideal.

Unless shoots are having difficulty emerging through the mulch layer, leave the mulch in place...it helps control weeds, retains moisture and provides nutrients as it decomposes.

Keep weeds under control early in the season, as garlic does not compete well with weeds.

Garlic needs about an inch of water per week during the growing season. Discontinue supplemental watering in early June [later as you go north]. This allows for better bulb growth and easier harvest.

Cut or break off scapes (the curling tops of garlic plants) after they are 10 inches long. They will inhibit bulb growth if they are allowed to remain. Softneck varieties generally do not have scapes.

Harvest after leaf die-back when half of the leaves have died down (June or early July...in Iowa). Do not wait too long or the bulbs will begin to separate in the ground.

Dig carefully...pulling may cause the stalk to separate from the bulb.

Do not leave garlic in the sun or wash it with water.

Tie in bundles and hang in a shaded, fry, well-ventilated shed or garage for 4 to 6 weeks.

Handle garlic carefully [to avoid bruising].

After the papery skins are dry, trim the roots and cut the stalks at least 1.5 inches above the bulb. thepapery wrpping protects the garlic and keeps it fresh. Remove just the dirtiest layers before storage

Store in net bags in a dark, well-ventilated and cool space.... Do not refrigerate.

Be sure to save your biggest and best bulbs as seed stock to plant in the fall.


By the looks of it, the timing of some of the instructions (discontinuing watering, harvest etc.) will depend on that latitude and/or climate in which you live.

Hope this helps - if anyone has anything to add, or has any questions, please be sure to post them here.

Ron
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