||The fall is the
perfect time to plant garlic in your garden. Compared to
spring-planted garlic, fall garlic produces larger bulbs, matures
earlier, and often has fewer disease problems. Additionally, certain
types of garlic, mainly the hard-neck types like Rocambole, will not
mature in time from a spring planting.
Of the three types of garlic, soft-neck garlic is the type most
often found in supermarkets. It stores for a number of months and
can be braided into attractive hangings. Alternatively, hard-neck
types store for a much shorter time but have a much more pungent
flavour. Elephant garlic, a member of the leek family, is an
extremely mild-flavoured garlic. The individual cloves can often be
2 inches wide and are great for roasting. In areas where summers are
cool and damp, elephant garlic is an excellent choice.
In the springtime, when the green tips start to
emerge, garlic should be side-dressed with fertilizer again. Place
the fertilizer 2 inches away from the row and lightly scratch it
into the soil. During the growing season, keep garlic evenly
watered. If this is not possible, keep a mulch on the soil around
the plants to help conserve water in between waterings.
- Just before planting, separate each of the cloves from the
main bulb, keeping the skin on.
- Sprinkle a high phosphorus fertilizer like Flower
Power down the row.
- Plant the cloves 2 inches deep, pointy-side up, 4 inches
- Elephant garlic should be planted 10 inches apart to ensure
that the plants have enough room.
The hard-neck types of garlic usually send up flowering heads.
Although beautiful, these heads should be removed as they drain
energy from the bulbs. The heads can be added to stir-fries for a
mild garlic taste. For more information on recipes and using garlic,
try the Garlic Page.
When the tops turn yellow, stop watering and allow the bulbs to
cure in the soil for 2 weeks. Harvest the garlic by pulling the
whole plant out of the soil, tying the leaves together, and then
place the bulbs on a rack in a warm, dry spot. Soft-neck garlic can
be braided and hung for long-term storage. The hard-neck types must
be used within 1 or 2 months.
Make sure you keep some bulbs aside for replanting! Are you a
garlic lover? See what Mostly
Garlic Magazine has to offer.
Easy tricks to keep your garden
producingGardens need not stop producing food once cold weather
comes. Many vegetables are suited to growing in cooler temperatures
and can withstand frosts. The key to a successful fall/winter garden
lies in the planning.
For more information about season extension, try The Appropriate
- Choose the right variety. Certain varieties of
vegetables have more frost tolerance than others. This is
indicated in the seed catalogues or on the tags in the nursery
containers. For example, not all types of lettuce can be grown in
the fall but Winter Density Romaine can withstand light frosts.
- Make sure the soil is well drained. Standing water, not
frost is a big problem for fall vegetables. Grow on raised beds
or, if there is no option, in containers.
- Use protective covers. Floating row covers, often
marketed as Reemay or Agrofabric can be draped over plants to
provide 1 to 2 degrees of frost protection.
- Use a cold-frame or cloche. In very cold winter areas,
vegetables can still be grown in a cold frame or under a plastic
- Use a mulch. If floating covers or cloches cannot be
used with your plants, a deep mulch of straw is an excellent