How much seed do I need?
6-inch spacing is usually sufficent for garlic seed, while 8" of spaces can be allocated to ensure more growing space for larger beds. A 4 x 4 bed will hold up to 64 plants.
Softneck varieties averages 24 cloves to the 1/4 pound, while hardnecks average 14 seeds per 1/4 pound. These are just averages so to ensure you can fill your space order a bit more than your calculated estimate, you can always eat the leftovers!
This is the formula we use when planning our plantings:
Width (in feet) time 2 x Length (in feet) times 2 = number of cloves needed
When will my garlic ship?
Fall seed garlic begins shipping from the farm beginning the first week in September. Orders made prior to September first are shipped out in the order recieved. It takes two to four weeks to get through prior orders, when we're done with those new orders ship in just a few business days. Priority is given to cold climate orders. You will recieve a USPS tracking number via Paypal when your order is packed and ready to ship.
How do I plant my garlic?
It is reccomened to fall plant your seed garlic about six weeks before the ground freezes. This will give the garlic time for roots to establish without evident top growth. Once the grown thaws in the spring and the soil begins to warm green shoots will emerge.
You can also spring plant garlic seed as soon as your ground can be worked. The spring garlic seed we offer is pre-vernalized, which means that we have exposed it to a period of cold that helps ensure the best possible growth for spring planting.
When planting, seperate yout garlic bulbs into cloves. We plant our garlic cloves 6 - 8 inches apart, and about three times deeper than the clove is tall. Depending on the moisture content of the soil you can either water the seed or rely on natural moisture. Much well with 3-6 inches of wees-free straw, hay or cut grass.
My garlic is growing, now what?
Garlic likes moist but not soggy soil. If you can count on occasional spring rain until July and have mulched well this should be sufficent to grow large, pugnent bulbs. If its a dry spring or you live somewhere where you can't count on mother nature for occasional moisture you can pull back the mulch and pinch some soil between your fingers. If it feels moist and holds together it is sufficient. If the soil feels dry and falls apart it's time to water. Garlic appreciates moisture so keep an eye on your soil.
Hardneck garlic produces scapes. This is the flowering shoot, you will want to remove the scape once it curls around 1-2 times to prevent it from becoming woody. Scapes have a nice garlic flavor and are great for culinary use. Keep in mind that softneck garlic can produce scapes as well if stressed and they should also be removed. Removing scapes helps the plant put its growing energy into the garlic bulb, helping you grow bigger garlic!
Taper watering off in July in prepartion for harvest in mid-July/August depending on the variety. Garlic harvested from ground that is too wet will not store as well as garlic allowed to dry for a few weeks prior to harvest.
Which way is up?
Unlike most seeds that you plant, garlic seed has a top and bottom. The point end of the garlic is up and the basal root plate is at the bottom of the seed.
Hardneck or Softneck?
Nearly 100% of commercially available garlic is of the softneck variety. Softneck garlic has great storage characteristics, is relatively easy to care for and can be braided for decoration and functionality.
Softneck garlic is more suited for regions without sub-zero temperatures but can be grown in these area if proper percautions such as adding a thick layer of mulch are taken.
Hardnecks don't store as well as Softneck garlic but has a more distinct flavor.
Hardneck garlic loves cold winters, which can make it more difficult to grow in warmer climates south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you want to try your hand at growing Hardnecks in the South we reecomend refrigerating your seed in the coldest part of your fridge for several weeks prior to planting. This will kick start the vernalization process that is essential for Hardnecks to properly form large bulbs.
What is #2 garlic seed?
#2 garlic seed is simply garlic that is slightly smaller than our jumbo seed and didn't size up as well as would have liked. The garlic has the genetics to produce large bulbs but because of conditions that were less than ideal it didn't quite get there. The seed, if taken care will produce great garlic next year. We just feel compelled to offer a discount on it since it is smaller than we like. Our number two seed is priced at a 25% discount — an excellent value.
Are your seeds chemically treated?
We never treat any of our prodects with chemicals. All of our seed garlic is certified organic by both the WSDA and USDA.
What is dry land garlic?
Dry land garlic is garlic that is not irrigated throughout the growing season. Garlic can be grown this way by utilizing mulch and natural moisture. Large pugnent bulbs can be produced with minimal to no irrgation.