2013 Garlic Planting

I took advantage of dry weather this week to get the garlic planted. I finished yesterday just in time before rain showers moved in. I usually plant garlic here about this time of year, sometime around the end of October to early November. Last year I split the planting into two days, since I had the garlic in two different areas. This year it all went in one wide row in the main garden.

planting spot for garlic (click on any image to enlarge)

planting spot for garlic (click on any image to enlarge)

I decided to grow the garlic where I had sweet potatoes growing earlier this year. That soil was nice and loose, since I had made a raised ridge of soil when I planted the sweet potatoes back in June. I spread a layer of compost over the area ( about 5 bushels worth) and then sprinkled some 3-4-4 organic fertilizer at the rate of about 6 lbs per 100 square feet. I made a shallow pass with the tiller to work the compost and fertilizer in, then raked the area smooth. Now I was ready to try my new garlic planting jig!

garlic cloves ready for planting

garlic cloves ready for planting

But first I had to get the planting stock ready. I never break the cloves apart (aka ‘cracking’ them) until the last minute. Since I plant quite a few different varieties, I count out the number of cloves and put them in a small bowl with a plastic marker to keep everything straight. I try and pick the larger cloves to use for planting stock, which usually means I get them from several different heads of garlic. I don’t soak or peel the cloves before planting.

garlic planting jig on soil

garlic planting jig on soil

To aid in planting, I used a length of twine to mark a straight line down the row. Then I pressed the planting jig down in the soil. When I lifted it up, I was pleased to see 24 perfectly spaced planting holes marked out in a 6 inch by 8 inch grid pattern.

soil marked with holes for planting garlic

soil marked with holes for planting garlic

The two inch long dowels had done a great job of marking the planting holes. And I found that it was easy to use my thin trowel to open up the planting hole and drop in the clove of garlic – pointed side up of course!

planting clove of garlic

planting clove of garlic

Using the jig really helped speed up the planting process. I wound up planting 228 cloves of garlic, and it only took a little over an hour to do it. Later on I’ll plant some of the smaller cloves in another area for green garlic.

For more information on growing and preserving garlic, check out these related posts:

  1. Dehydrating Garlic
  2. Easy Refrigerator Pickled Garlic
  3. Growing Green Garlic
  4. How To Have Fresh Garlic All Year Long
  5. It’s Garlic Planting Time
  6. Homemade Garlic Planting Jig

 

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8 Responses to 2013 Garlic Planting

  1. Liz says:

    My garlic crop looks to have pretty much failed this year. Not sure if this is due to a lack of sun, our winter weather not getting cold enough or something else entirely. My onions died too so all in all it hasn’t been a great year for alliums in my garden.
    Liz recently posted…Monday Harvest – 28th October 2013My Profile

  2. Kira says:

    Hi, I found your blog and have been fascinated by the differences growing in your climate vs. mine (SoCal, zone 9). But I am getting ready to plant garlic too. It’ll be my first time. Love your jig idea!

  3. I love seeing the jig in action. I am sure it saves a lot of time. I will be planting my garlic this weekend. I have the bed ready and we are supposed to get some much needed rain.
    Rachel (GrafixMuse) recently posted…First Eggs!!My Profile

  4. Daphne says:

    That is a lot of cloves. I planted 70 this year. The soil is still dry here though. I might have to water the garden if the predicted rain doesn’t come in this week. Last night was supposed to pour but it never did.

    • Dave says:

      We got just the right kind of rain, not a gully washer but about an inch of gentle rain. The garlic should be happy for a while!

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