fall: time for planting some garlic!


Jedi Master
Just discovered this new sub-forum specifically on Gardening.

It is cold enough to start fall planting but I still haven't gotten around to doing it.

I did plant a few cloves of garlic too early in the summer (before I found out you should start planting them in the fall). They sprouted some greens then the green died. But a few weeks ago, the greens popped up again so I guess the cloves are still alive! :)

And planting garlic is so easy to do. Just get a bulb from the grocery, remove a couple of cloves then stick them into the ground about an inch under the soil. Just remember to water now and then. From what I've read, the time to harvest them would be when the stalks start to turn the translucent white (the way they are when you buy them from the grocery).

Each clove, properly matured, will produce a bulb of several cloves, so it is easy to grow another batch from the previous crop.

I tried digging up one of the bulbs I planted in the summer when the greens wilted and the clove became round (like a small marble but hadn't split into smaller cloves yet) and developed just a few layers of "skin". I tried it out and the garlic smell and taste was very pungent! I wonder if the garlic is really potent at this point of growth, much like how sprouts are really good when they're still sprouts (and not yet full fledged plants).

some links on sprout nutrition:
Nutritional Advantages of Sprouts

It is really only in the past thirty years that "westerners" have become interested in sprouts and sprouting. During World War II considerable interest in sprouts was sparked in the United States by an article written by Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University. Dr. McKay led off with this dramatic announcement: "Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a ... chop."

Dr. McKay was talking about soybean sprouts. He and a team of nutritionists had spent years researching the amazing properties of sprouted soybeans. They and other researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill have found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. While some nutritionists point out that this high vitamin content is gained at the expense of some protein loss, the figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.

This link shows a table of different sprouts and nutritional content.

Getting back to garlic, planting garlic alongside other plants also provides a natural kind of pest protection for the other plants:
Garlic co-planting is especially beneficial to lettuce (where it deters aphids) and cabbage (deterring many common pests).

As well as protecting other plants garlic can also improve their flavour. Beets and cabbage are reported to be especially good companions that benefit from this.

Not all companion planting combinations are beneficial. Garlic doesn't seem to cooperate well with legumes (beans and pulses), peas or potatoes. Try not to plant these too near your garlic.


Thank you for reminding about the garlic planting time! I have been saving a few bulbs to do just that, and almost forgot about them.

One thing I wanted to emphasize is that not every bulb from the grocery store will work. Many of them are now grown in China or elsewhere in the world, and they are too old and dry by the time they reach the shelves, and additionally may not be zoned for your local climate. Those will not grow in the soil but will just rot.

It is best to start with a bulb that is locally grown and recently harvested. Anything from a farmer's market or a smaller food store that gets local produce will work.

Here's to the new garlic in the new year!


I planted my garlic early this summer, knowing that I would leave them until next year. I just left them and covered them w/straw this fall because our winters can be really severe. BTW, what I planted was just some I had bought from the store that started to sprout on it's own.


FOTCM Member
Thanks for this info. I'm trying to cultivate a green thumb by trying to grow some herbs and wheat grass. Garlic is definitely something I can add to my list. For some reason it annoys me greatly to have to peel it. :rolleyes:


The Living Force
Odyssey said:
Garlic is definitely something I can add to my list. For some reason it annoys me greatly to have to peel it. :rolleyes:

and it's very good for you, raw, apparently. though, have a glass of water handy.
Have grown some garlic for the first time this year, pretty successful too, it doesn't seem too fussy about a harsh environment, unlike some other things.


The Living Force
I received a 'whole clove' of garlic from a friend which is just one round clove just smaller than a golf ball.

I put it to one side and forgot about it, then 4 weeks later I came across it again and it had sprouted, so I planted it out last week and it seems to be ok.

Hopefully it will thrive and I'll get to taste the next one.


The Living Force
I've a couple of different varieties in. There's a really strong and spicy variety from Mexico which is doing well.


The Living Force
Just an update, Hildegarda mentions the Chinese variety which I've tried. It seems to shoot up a brighter green shoot and doesn't seem to do as well. They seem much milder when cooking, good garlic IMHO should be slightly hot.

Those big FAT cloves seem to do the best. I've sourced a couple over the past weeks. Some from the local food co-op and others from a small green grocer in town as mentioned before, sourced from Mexico. They were white with a hint of purple and were excellent on a salad dressing.

I've also thrown a few onions in. One is seeding at the moment, I'll collect the seeds and see if I am able to grow some from seed.


The Force is Strong With This One
From research and experience i know this about growing garlic.

it will grow easily up to hardiness zone 2(with some mulching for winter especially if you don't get much snow just lots of cold)(if you dont know about hardiness zones, here's some info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardiness_zone)

garlic can be of benefit to Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage family, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Chamomile, Collard, Cucumber, Dill, fruit trees(near the trunk) Kale, Lettuce, Pepper, Potato, Radish, Raspberry, Rose, Savory, Squash, Strawberry, Tomato but should not be planted near Beans, Peas, or Asparagus.

There are many cultivars offering a wide variety of tastes from hot and spicy to mild.

I also recommend buying locally grown garlic to plant because it will be a variety that is guaranteed to do well in your area.

As far as onions go, you can grow onions from seed but it can be tough to know when it's best to start them depending on your use. If you want cooking/storage onions, they will take anywhere from 75-140 days to maturity depending on the cultivar. Some types need to be started early indoors to get a good harvest if you have shorter growing seasons. Anywhere from zone 5 and warmer can start the cooking onion seeds out from the middle of april to the middle of may. If you are looking for bunching onions or greeen onions/scallions, starting the seed indoor is a great idea because you can provide yourself with green onions all summer with successive plantings starting indoors in march in peat/paper pots, or starting outdoors in april or later(this really depends on your hardiness zones, I'm speaking mainly for zone 5/6 for the onion start times. Seeds take ALOT longer than onion bulbs or sets
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