getting ready to plant garlic

Garlic, Seeds

garlic 2

I’ve been getting advertisements that its time to order garlic now. Here are some mail order sources:
Seeds of Change
The Garlic Store
Sand Hill Preservation Center
Johnny’s Selected Seeds

I ordered top sets a couple years ago and they haven’t done very well for me. They take several years to size up and I’m afraid I’ve lost them all in the process. Three or four years ago I grew supermarket garlic (softneck) and its done pretty good. I still get a few medium sized ones from this. My most successful has been the heads I pick up at the Farmers Market and from my CSA.

This year I harvested about 30 heads of garlic. I will plant about 3 or 4 of the biggest ones: 2 or 3 hardnecks and 1 softneck. (Its hard not to eat the biggest and best heads!) Plus I’ll plant a nice CSA head I saved. And I’d like to find another head or two to add to the collection. About 30-40 cloves total. I usually plant in September or October.

I’m really pleased with my garlic this year. Most have very big cloves. Some only two cloves per head – but very big ones. They are a big dirty on the outside, because I didn’t wash them right away, but crisp and very nice inside.

8 Comments. Leave new

  • I love garlic. Yum.

  • We got our garlic from – The hardnecks are consistent sizes, and the softneck ranges from pretty small to pretty huge. We've saved the biggest ones of each and ordered more. We can't replant in the home garden because of the lead, but we've got that big potato bed at the community plot. 🙂

  • Funny you mention planting garlic from the farmer's market, I picked up a couple heads to do just that. So hard not to eat them though. I also ordered some from Seed Savers, it will be interesting to see if I notice a difference as you have.

  • Thank you for posting about garlic planting time…I didn't realize it had to be planted so far ahead of time! Learning all the time…

  • Reply
  • My garden is in Peacham, VT it's about a 3 hrs drive to the north of Andover, it's zone 4. My schedule for planting garlic:
    2005 3 & 7 Nov.
    2006 10 Nov.
    2007 20 Oct.
    2008 18 Oct.
    2009 prob. 21 Oct
    I'm growing Germ. ex hardy & NY white, about 40 heads. Generally my garden is about 3 wks. after yours. We definitely have different ideas about when to plant garlic.

    John Chypre

  • I believe the recomendation is about 4 weeks before the ground tends to freeze, though earlier planting will just encourage winter growth kill, certainly not a deal breaker. Does that sound right?

  • Kathy –

    I just placed my garlic order with Hood Garlic out of Oregon, but off the top of my head, I don't remember the varities I ordered. The garlic is due to be shipped sometime in Sept. I would be happy to share some with you – email me at

    Karen in DE


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