Plant garlic bulbs in winter is a responsible activity that requires choosing the right planting material, correctly determining the planting time. To understand the subtleties, rules, nuances, and peculiarities. So, with such nuances let me begin.
SEEDS OR BULBS?
In winter garlic, as we have seen, bulbs that begin to mature at the very end of a burning summer on the stalks that give arrows, are such air bulbs that in each of their inflorescences can have a hundred or more pieces.
Using these same bulbs can also be planted in the fall, but the next season you will not get full Garlic bulbs. from the bulb can grow only a fairly small, weighing only 4-7 grams, which we call one-tooth, sold on the market very profitable and can be planted in the fall. Next summer, from the bulb you get a whole garlic clove. By the way, sometimes quite large and with cloves inside.
Everything will be fine, but there are exceptions. Bulbs also come in different sizes, and when you sow very small, the bulbs in the second season will not be very large. Only in another season, the third year, you will get high-quality garlic bulbs that are loaded with cloves and can be stored for a long time. Since garlic develops and changes quite slowly, when propagating garlic in this way, bulbs are sown on the homeland, sometimes as an experiment and more often to preserve all the cultural characteristics of a particular garlic variety.
SOWING MATURE GARLIC BULBS FOR THE WINTER
The popularity of planting complete Garlic bulbs under winter is no different than sowing bulbs. By the way, what is a lilac? In essence, a gear is a daughter onion with well-developed, active, lively buds.
If there are many of these Garlic bulbs (don’t assume at least three, it can be one, up to seven), clustered on a common stalk and carefully wrapped by covering scales, it is already a bulb and complex.
FROM LARGE VOLUME TO LARGE YIELD
It is believed that the larger (bigger) the planting material itself, the greater the yield. That is if we plant big teeth garlic in the soil, then in the spring we only need to obtain a large bulb with the maximum number of Garlic bulbs. If you plant pinions, then the garlic bulbs will also be medium-sized, at most with pinions or even one gear inside.
THERE IS NO NEED TO BE GREEDY
Newcomers who have never grown garlic before usually take the largest cloves for consumption or storage, and the smaller ones to plant in the ground. As a result, each year their crop gets smaller and smaller, and while they pull the arrows out in time (important, by the way, procedure: pulling much of the power of their own arrows away), this method doesn’t help.
If you don’t want to reduce your garlic crop to a value close to zero, then for planting, try to divide the large teeth evenly. Half for food, half for harvest, and, of course, for planting and one tooth.
I recommend restoring garlic every two or three years in a separate crib, that is, starting the planting from the bulb. There is no harm in doing this, only benefit.
WHEN TO PLANT GARLIC FOR THE WINTER?
Moving on to the time, it is important, but in many ways, the time also depends on climatic conditions. If we are talking about the central part of the United States, the best time is of course the beginning of October (between September and November). If we are talking about the South, it is best to plant garlic no earlier than the end of October, or even better – no earlier than the beginning of November, so that you are fully covered.
As you can see, these terms are rather vague, but experienced gardeners, who have lived in the same region for a long time, have already mastered several secret signs in their knowledge base. For example, some people seriously believe that garlic should be planted before intercession, while others believe – on the second day of this great holiday.
I know, for example, that in Texas conditions, the annual winter garlic planting begins at the end of September, (if the weather is hot), and is then delayed until October 7. Acquaintances, I know always start their vacation in early October and plant garlic on the first day of their vacation. Of course, we have the help of a thermometer and we should listen to our intuition: the older a person is, the better he/she will develop. My grandfather in California stubbornly planted garlic at the beginning of October despite the weather outside his window and did not deviate from this tradition for about twenty years.
So, regardless of the calendar date, a general rule for growing garlic is as follows: the cloves must be in the ground when the soil temperature drops below 48°F (9°C) heat a month and a half (maximum – 50 days) before the real frost. This is the best time for garlic to form a decent bunch of roots. Sometimes even 6inch (15cm), but usually around 4inch (10cm).
WHERE TO PLANT GARLIC
Choosing the right place is very important and will affect the final result, so this should not be overlooked. Remember that garlic is a light-loving crop, so choose the most open and well-lit place on the plot. Try to choose a place so that even during the day, the short shade will not cover this culture. As for predecessors, good ones are considered to be green manure, squash (and all squash in general), tomatoes, and cabbage (especially early), beans, and leafy greens, but garlic predecessors are not good – onions, the same garlic, carrots, cucumbers, and potatoes.
Once you have chosen a plot and identified with the predecessor, find out the soil of this plot and do not forget that, like all bulbs, garlic likes loose soil, breathable and permeable, nutritious, must have a neutral pH, all of which should be treated well in advance, at least a month.
Try not to plant garlic in autumn in places with bogs, those where meltwater or rain accumulates for a long time, where the soil is dense, clay type, and, of course, acidic, it is usually any soil, including a lot of peat. It is possible to grow garlic on sand and gravel, but it is not very useful: this substrate is poor and requires very frequent watering, so the bulbs may be very small.
PREPARING THE SOIL
We know that plots are different, when the given area is raised, leveled and the ground above is like fleece, which is good; totally different when the site is located low and the soil slowly dries out. What to do? In this case, the best variant is to build raised beds – 8inch (20cm) is just right. The width of the seedbed can be arbitrary, but usually, no one makes a seedbed more than 40inch (1m) wide, so it is easier to weed.
Of course, raised beds have their drawbacks, don’t forget them. The bottom line is: the soil on these beds dries out twice as fast as on regular beds, but there are advantages: the water comes off faster in case of heavy rain or too much watering, and these beds heat up twice as fast as the flat ground in spring. The main thing is that they should be fenced and not spread out over the plot.
If the soil on your plot is acidic, you can refuse to plant garlic in the fall and do it in the spring. Or introduce 200 grams of lime per square meter of bed, well done (on the full bayonet of the shovel), and dig in the soil a month before planting. Of course, the ideal option is to add lime to the soil, especially under the garlic precursors, but then you will have to abandon the fall planting and spring planting. You should add 250-300 grams of lime under the village in the fall, plant early cabbage in the spring and the next fall you will plant winter garlic.
If there are no problems with the soil, i.e. the reaction is neutral, then the flowerbeds can make 22-26lb (10-12 kg) of humus per square meter, one tablespoon of calcium superphosphate, and one tablespoon of potassium sulfate. In this case, the main thing – do not use fresh manure, you can use humus, but if there is nothing but manure, then use the fact that it has been lying in the pile for at least four years, that is carefully prepared.
Also, depending on the type of soil.
If the soil is very heavy, clayey, and dense, with melt and irrigation water on it stagnated for a long time, it should be brought back to normal as soon as possible. This should be done at least one month before planting garlic, a task that is physically difficult and impossible to use machinery, although it all depends on the size of the bed in which the garlic will be planted in the future. In order to make the soil friable, it is necessary to dig down deep on the complete bayonet of the shovel and make a bucket of peat and river sand for each square meter of soil.
On the contrary, if the soil on your plot is too loose, i.e. sandy, it should be compacted by adding clay and humus. The clay should be very dry before spreading and then crushed into fine particles until it becomes a powder, after which it can be added to the soil together with the sand. Normally, a bucket of both (i.e. sand and clay) should be added to the soil per square meter before digging.
For owners of peat soils, which are usually acidic, we recommend adding a bucket of sand, preferably river sand and clay mixed as described above, in addition to 250 grams of lime per square meter. All this should be done with a forced excavation of the soil.
GROWING GARLIC BULBS
Let’s start with the traditional and most common garlic planting – planting cloves. When the bed is ready, level and loose, you need to make a row on it, separated from each other by 7-8inch (18-20 cm), if the bed is wide, 10inch (25 cm) will do, but not more. The distance between cloves depends on their size: small cloves can be planted, leaving 5.5-6inch (14-16 cm) between them, Garlic bulbs – 7-8.5inch (19-22 cm), in this case, it does not make sense to save soil. As a rule, cloves are buried in loose soil to a depth of 1.5inch (4 cm) and in dense soil to a depth of 2-2.3inch (5-6 cm).
PLANTING BULBOUS PLANTS
Between rows, it is quite possible to make the same distance equal to 8inch (20 cm), but 4inch (10 cm) between bulbs is enough if the bulbs are already quite small, or 6inch (15 cm) if they are larger. Place the garlic bulbs in loose soil to a depth of 1.5inch (4 cm) and in denser soil to a depth of 2inch (5 cm). Usually, there are about three dozen bulbs per square meter of bed, less often – more, but still it is not worth being too detailed about the placement.
Do not plant garlic too often, because weeds usually grow too actively in such beds and it is difficult to take care of them; in addition, the competition between them is mediocre, and the bulbs can not grow too large.
SOME USEFUL TIPS
Soil preparation before planting garlic should be 10-15 days, that is, if at the end of September we plan to plant, it is likely to start preparing the soil at the beginning of the month.
Is it necessary to treat Garlic bulbs before planting? It can be soaked in a light manganese solution for an hour or two, but it is usually further agricultural techniques that determine the success of cultivation.
In any soil, even the loosest, the maximum burial depth for Garlic bulbs is 2.3inch (6cm) and for bulbs 2inch (5cm).
Strong “sticking” of Garlic bulbs should be avoided; they should be carefully “put” into the soil, which should be made loose beforehand for this purpose.
After sowing, the seedbed should be sprinkled with only stove ash, 200 g per square meter.
Garlic does not need to be watered after planting, usually, rain is enough, but if there is no rain for a month, you can water once, spending a bucket per square meter.
After the frost, in the absence of snow, garlic can be covered with rotting leaves in a layer of 6-10inch (15-25 cm), on which non-woven mulching material should be spread. Or do not use leaves at all and use only the material.
In the north, garlic is spared in winter – there it is mulched with straw manure and horse manure, mixing manure and sawdust in equal proportions. You can also mulch with humus in a layer of 7-8inch (18-20 cm). The main thing is to clean the mulch as quickly and carefully as possible in spring to prevent the soil from warming up and damaging the shoots.
A month after the snow melts, you can relax the soil and try to penetrate to 0.6-0.8inch (1.5-2 cm), but this is already caring, i.e. another article.