Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Planting Garlic

I've been planting garlic over the last week or so. I don't have any idea what I'm doing. This is not a "how to" but more of a "Is this what I'm supposed to do?"

Head of garlic, soon to be planted.

Garlic, like onions, has not worked out for me. But I'm stubborn and I will not be defeated by an allium. So I will be victorious. In truth I tried garlic last year and had mild success. The best one grew in a garden where I did not plant it - so I thought it was a weed. When I yanked it out I was very excited to see one big head of garlic that was snappy and delicious. So I'm taking the garlic challenge again, for better or for worse. 

I got a great deal on garlic for planting!

I scored about 50 heads of garlic from a local source. I was very happy to give the finger to those big seed places and their expensive garlic starts and big shipping charges. I got some Music and German Northern varieties. I think I paid about $9 total for all 50 heads of garlic.  My plan was to plant in several locations - well away from those pesky chickens and all their pecking around. I'm pretty sure some of my hennies yanked up some of the starts this spring.

Breaking apart the heads was the hardest part.

I got my bad soil prepared as best I could, hoed up some trenches, and plopped in the individual cloves. Per the instructions I planted them about 2 inches deep and 3 or 4 inches apart.

Planting each clove.

And so I remember.... I planted 3 or 4 rows in the upper garden by the wonky little tree, 3 long rows by the unproductive apple tree, and 3 short rows by the asparagus bed by the other unproductive apple tree. By the way, them little apple trees had better get with the program or they are getting the axe.

Today I plan to plant the rest of the Music variety in the new garden bed by the truck turn around. I'll never remember but hopefully I'll have enough sense to look at this later. And next spring when I say, "Hey does anyone remember where I planted that garlic?" I'm hoping someone will remind me.

We look to have a couple warm days then it will cool off again. Now that the garden is closing up shop I'm finishing up the fall planting and have begun my clearing project with vigor. If you see smoke in my direction then its me having the mutha-of-all-burn-piles. But, um.. don't call the fire department... I've likely got it under control. Probably.

Happy Saturday everyone! Am I doing this garlic thing right?


Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Garlic is a great companion plant with asparagus. It attracts ladybugs-which is great to get rid of aphids and other little nasty "bad" bugs



David said...

The way I've seen it is planting it so the growing tip is just below the surface. I had "pretty good" results but hoped for better. After it got a little green 1/2" sprout I mulched it well until spring. Could you mark the areas when you put stuff in the hinterlands? what about blank utility flags - you could mark them with a sharpie and come spring you should have a better idea of where life lies.... here the first link i found prolly some cheaper but 2.2 cents apiece isn't to bad. http://www.northstarflags.com/flag-markers.html

Traci Sumner said...

We'll learn about the garlic thing together. It was my first year planting our own after sucking my father's garden dry the past few years. But, I do know where all mine went in - in my raised bed, about 1 inch deep, under a straw cover, and covered with mesh wire so the cats don't use it as a litter pan. My Dad planted 400 cloves this year. His always are huge!

Unknown said...

apparently if you soak the cloves for a few hours (I soak mine over night) in water with a bit of baking soda it will protect them from fungal disease. I did this last fall and every single clove sprouted for me. We live in OK the soil is clay and not great and not at all worked (we just moved here last Sep.) So...I was all "woot! Just call me galric girl!" Other than that, I put them in the ground point to the sky and let water hit them once in a while. I would definatly keep at it though garlic keeps so weel it is worth growing your own.

freemotion said...

Mulch them heavily, that will also help you find them! I use bagged leaves so they are easy to remove in the spring and the hens can't scratch them off.

Robin said...

My goodness girl! What are you going to do with that much garlic??? I guess you won't have to worry about vampires :)

I just stick mine in the ground like you. I plant mine about 5-6 inches apart though.

Happy Saturday to you too! I just got done putting up the pears!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Tonya - I'll plop a couple more cloves near my other asparagus.

Hi Dave... those flags are a great idea. Between the dogs and the geese and the hens... all my markers usually end up somewhere else.

Hey Traci!I love the idea of a raised bed for your garlicc. 400!!!!??

Great tips, Josie! I think I remember seeing an article about soaking them.. hum...

Hi Free! My goaties are eating all the leaves! ha!

Robin, Great to see you! I'm going to eat all the garlic - yum! Ha! Actually, I'm not convinced it will work so I figure might as well do a lot with hopes to get some.

Diane said...

Ditto on the mulching. Mulch those suckers heavily. I've been growing garlic for years and all I do is poke a hole with my fancy-pants dibble (piece of rebar cut to about 1 1/2 feet long), cram in a clove, scrape a little dirt over the hole with my shoe, and then mulch the crap out of them. Oh, yeah, and completely ignore them until the following year.

Did everyone hear about the nasty garlic diseases? Lemme find the link... http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cornucop/msg0813043821394.html?23

FYI: Best garlic site in my bookmarks for ya -- has a buttload of info buried in it: http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/index.htm

Unknown said...


one more thought for you...some good garlic-y planting info.

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