Preparing Your Soil for Planting Garlic

Fall is still two months away but if you want to plant seed garlic, it is time to start preparing your soil. Planting large seed garlic cloves will produce larger bulbs but another consideration should be amending your soil. Preparing the soil properly is also key to a successful garlic crop the following summer. First is to make sure you are rotating the area where you are planning to plant garlic; make sure it is not the same location you planted the previous year. Amend your soil with organic matter, either by adding compost, or planting a summer cover crop. Buckwheat is a great choice and will be finished in about 45 days and will not only add organic matter to the soil it will pull insoluble phosphorus out of the soil which will be released when the plant decomposes. Make sure your soil has a good level of phosphorus by adding soft rock phosphate, bone meal or another high phosphorus fertilizer (but low nitrogen). For more information on preparing the soil you can read our gardening blog.
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