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Steps for Planting Seed Garlic in the Fall

Garlic is easy to grow but follow some simple steps to make sure you will get the biggest bulbs the following summer. Plant at the right time; October is a great time to plant garlic in your garden, November is a late for roots to get established. Select the variety that is right for your growing region. Hardneck garlic makes the biggest bulbs if grown in colder winter regions. If you want to grow hardneck garlic in a mild winter area, you should place your garlic in the refrigerator (vernalization) for about 4 weeks before planting. This will give the garlic the cold treatment that it needs to produce big bulbs. Softnecks are more suited to mild winter climates. Another tip is to plant the biggest cloves, they will produce the biggest bulbs. Don’t toss out the smaller cloves–grow them to use as garlic scallions. Next, don’t plant them too close together, give them at least 6” between cloves (don’t break apart your bulbs into cloves until you are ready to plant). Gophers love garlic, so if you have gophers, use gopher baskets or gopher wire to protect from hungry pests. Keep your garlic bed well weeded, garlic does not like to compete with other plants. Add a thick layer of mulch to your garlic bed, 6-8” if you live in a very cold region. For more information about growing garlic, download our Garlic Growing Guide.
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