About planting, harvesting and storing
We have whole pages devoted to how and when to
plant, cutting scapes, harvesting, curing and storing
garlic. This page is adressing questions that didn't
fit on those pages.
What varieties are recommended for my area?
We recommend Porcelains for growing anywhere in
Canada. However, they do require an extended period
of cold and do not do well in hot climates. The
other true hardnecks (Rocamboles, Purple Stripes,
Marbled Purple Stripes and Glazed Purple Stripes)
are almost as hardy and with a little care can be
grown anywhere in Canada.
In wet areas we recommend Porcelains grown in raised
We are in zone 4, at
the limit of where some of the weakly bolting hardnecks
and softnecks will grow and some of them are smaller
here than they would be where it is warmer. In moderate
climates, zone 4 and higher, anything we can grow
you can grow.
Are green shoots through the mulch/soil before winter
Fall planted garlic sometimes
shows green shoots before winter. While not
ideal, this is not a serious problem. The tops will
die off with winter and grow again in the spring.
Does planting eating garlic work?
The main problen with planting
table garlic is that you do not know if it is carrying
diseases. And, of course, the plants you grow won't
taste any better than the garlic you planted.
Where can I find garlic for spring planting?
We sold all our seed garlic in the fall and so
do most other seed sources and so it is very difficult
to find seed garlic in the spring. If you prefer
spring planting you need to keep your own seed garlic
What about Elephant garlic?
We only grew true garlics of the species Allium sativum.
Elephant garlic is in the leek family and wild garlics
belong to other allium species.
Why are the leaves of my garlic yellow?
Too much water and not enough sunshine is a common
cause. If this is not the case then use the resources
on our links page to help
identify a pest or disease that may be causing the
Is washing garlic all right?
Some growers wash their
garlic. We prefer not to unless the bulbs are already
very wet and muddy when they come out of the ground.
Then a quick wash before beginning curing probably
does no harm.
Can garlic be grown in pots?
We have heard many reports of growing garlic in
pots. Usually the pots are brought into an unheated
garage for the winter. Extra care is needed to maintain
an even moisture level during the growing season
and to prevent the soil from overheating.
How much does it cost to plant a large area to garlic?
A conservative estimate of the number of plants
in an acre is 40,000 or about one per square foot.
This allows generous spacing and paths. How much
seed garlic you need depends on the varieties you
choose and the size of cloves you plant. The
most important thing is the quality of the bulbs,
not their size. You can increase the size through
extra fertilization. If the bulbs are diseased or
of poor vitality they will not produce well, if
Porcelain garlics often average four large cloves
per bulb and there can be anywhere from five to
twelve bulbs in a pound of planting quality garlic.
All the other garlics have more cloves per
bulb. Marbled and Glazed Purple Stripes have 4 to
7 cloves per bulb and most of these will be big
enough to plant. Standard Purple Stripes have 8
to 12 cloves per bulb with great variation
in size and you need to decide how small is
too small. The Rocamboles also have lots of cloves
(8 to 12) ranging from huge to tiny. Artichoke variety
of softneck garlics can be large with 20 cloves
of which about ten are recommended for planting.
Other softnecks and the weakly bolting hardnecks
vary considerably in the number of plantable cloves
per bulb and the expected bulb size.
Our recommendation is to start small with excellent
quality seed garlic and multiply up your planting
stock over a few years. This allows you to learn
the business and your garlic to adapt to your conditions.
Another option to consider is growing from bulbils.