[Market-farming] Re: Garlic
garlicgrower at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 21 10:13:47 EST 2004
>I'd love to think I could get it in tomorrow with 48º coming
>but with 12 grandchildren and 8 children and families
If you've got the weather, I strongly suggest that you get the garlic in
the ground. If the family is there, get them to help -- all those folks
sound like at least it would go quickly! ;-)
Fall planting is important because that's when the garlic develops its root
system. Hopefully, nothing is happening above-ground (although I've got
about 3 stubborn varieties that come up anyway and get frost nipped --
considering that they've been with me long enough to get acclimated, I just
sigh and add mulch when they make me too nervous), but those days
throughout the winter when the garlic decides that conditions are right to
grow those roots a few more inches are *critical* to having healthy plants
that can survive whatever weirdness Spring throws at them, plus having a
If you can plant them in the next few days, it's not critical to keep them
in the cooler -- if they want to grow, just let them -- just be sure to
plant them a bit deeper so that the shoot doesn't get too nipped. And add
mulch with a heavy hand afterwards.
If you really can't plant them until later, putting them in the cooler will
slow everything down which will keep them from growing and being nailed by
any diseases present on the bulb that could zap a delicate "out of ground"
>- it ain't gonna'
>happen so I'm going to have to hope for that wonderful surprise few days in
>January that get to the 60's or 70's and hope we can work the ground enough
>- it just needs a quick final tilling.
Maybe in Kansas that comes earlier, but here in PA, the "January thaw" is
not until the last week of January. That would mean that you're missing at
least 3 months of winter root development which means that come spring, the
garlic won't have the root system to gather the water and nutrients it
needs to form superior bulbs. If you have a dry spring, you'll spend a lot
of time watering the garlic because it won't have a large enough root
structure to suck up water from further down.
Plus, if you're doing hardnecks, the quality of your bulbs is probably
starting to decline noticeably and you'll probably have more disease
problems because the cloves aren't in the ground. I'd seriously dust with
wood ashes when you plant and sprinkle them with a liberal hand once the
area is planted.
Good luck, but waiting until late January makes me very, very
nervous. Still better than planting in March, but still. . .
Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth
A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460
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