This is final call for garlic planting on the West coast and in the Pacific Northwest so we rounded up the top 5 tips for growing garlic. Giving close attention to a few details will yield spring garlic scapes as well as large bulbs at the height of summer.
Plant Before Winter.
Garlic can be planted into late October and the first week of November when fall temperatures are still present. Where winters are severe, plant this variety in spring since snow cover can be unpredictable.
Select Your Varieties.
In other words, be adventurous.
The hard-neck garlic in spring to produce a woody flower stalk topped with tiny bulblets. The stalks, otherwise known as “scapes” or “spring garlic”, can be harvested before your dry season begins. It lends a subtle onion-y flavor to any spring dish.
Easier to grow and more abundant than the hard variety, soft-neck varieties are stalkless with a soft leaf that can be braided for hanging. They adapt well to different climates around the world.
You can order unusual varieties from around the world grown at Garlicana, located in Southern Oregon. Download or view in full screen.
Create Rich Soil.
Although garlic will survive in poorly amended, well draining soil, plant your cloves in soil that is loose and rich with organic matter to be rewarded with a robust harvest the following summer.
Planting Depth Matters.
After you break the bulb into individual cloves, you will plant the larger ones and purpose the small ones right away in your kitchen for fall dishes. Plant cloves 1” deep, root side down in mild winter zones, and put them 2-4” deep covered with mulch in colder winter climates.
Feed Your Garlic.
Keep your garlic bed weed-free and use caution when cultivating around the bulbs. When spring arrives, add some chicken manure along the sides of your bed or sprinkle cottonseed meal alongside each row.
Bonus Tip: In spring you’ll be rewarded with a fun, homegrown addition to your kitchen repertoire in the form of Garlic Scapes, a subtle onion-y garlic flavor perfect for stir fries, omelets and frittatas.