Planting garlic

It’s fall and that means time to plant garlic! This year we’ve increased our garlic production significantly and have high hopes for tasty garlic next summer. We ordered about 7 pounds of organic garlic, including the following:

From Peaceful Valley

  • 1 lb. California Early White Garlic
  • 1 lb. Music Garlic
  • 1 lb. Georgian Fire Garlic

From Hood River Garlic

  • 1 lb. Transylvanian
  • .5 lb. Chesnok Red
  • .5 lb. Susanville
  • .5 lb. Siberian
  • .5 lb. Zemo
  • 1 lb. Shantang Purple

Bed preparation

We decided to reuse some beds we built this spring. We topped them off with another 2 yards of Sweet Peat from Earth to You. Additionally we added 1 pound of greensand to each bed. Two of the beds got 1 pound or rock phosphate, they were filled with mostly new Sweet Peat. While the third bed we added 8 cups of bonemeal, it had mostly Sweet Peat from the spring.

How we planted the beds

In the past we’ve used straw mulch. This year, we decided to use black landscape fabric, which we stapled to the top of the raised bed. To create the holes for planting, Spink created a template out of plywood and used a propane torch to burn the holes. We then planted the largest bulbs – one per hole…..a total of about 200 holes.

4' x 12' raised bed for garlic
4' x 12' raised bed for garlic
Black landscape cover with holes for each garlic bulb
Black landscape cover with holes for each garlic bulb
Spink making the holes
Spink making the holes

What’s planted in back bin (from left to right facing back wall):

  • Chesnok Red x 4 rows
  • Susanville x 5
  • Siberian x 2
  • Zemo x 3
  • Shangtang Purple x 8
  • Music x 5

What’s planted in side bin (from left to right facing vacant house):

  • Georgian Fire x 6
  • CA White x 15
  • Transylvanian rest of bin

0 thoughts on “Planting garlic

  1. Cari Miller says:

    I’ve not planted garlic before – maybe I should do that. Certainly not to the large extent you have, but it may be worth a shot! Thanks for the idea.

    • Spink Bickle says:

      Definitely give it a try! Last year we only planted 4 or 5 bulbs. And that netted over a pound this July.

      You should be able to get some great garlic at any farmers market. Probably need to get it done this weekend or next.

      Here is a decent guide, it’s pretty easy.

      Thanks for the comment!


      • Cari Miller says:

        Thanks for the link 🙂

        Not that I anticipate problems finding any at our local farmer’s market tomorrow morning, but do you think there’s any real harm to using just grocery store variety so long as we go with nice big bulbs?

        • Spink Bickle says:

          I’m no expert, but from what I’ve read and understand … ANY garlic will do, even store garlic, although I’ve never tried that I myself. I guess that “seed” garlic is more disease resistant, and it’s fun to plant a number of varieties.


  2. Mike_tfb says:

    Love seeing cool new methods! Are you planning to reuse the landscape fabric? Seems like it’d take extra work at harvest to be able to recover it… And why not straw again?

    • jojobickle says:

      Thanks for your comment….we are big fans of your blog and have learned a lot from you. We will try to reuse the landscape fabric (we have some cloches made from floating row covers that we’ve used for the past 3 years). The landscape fabric seems like it will keep critters out better than straw will and the plot where we planted has many critters, so that’s why we are trying this method this fall. Good luck with your garlic planting!

    • Spink Bickle says:

      We follow your blog religiously and your farm is a true inspiration to us!

      I hope to reuse the fabric, but I share your concern about harvest time. We co-oped the idea from a farmer friend. He plants his garlic under black plastic, with a drip tape installed. He contends it’s easier to manage for planting and gets better weed suppression. Since my irrigation system will not be ready till the spring, I opted for ag-fabric. I’m hoping to figure out some handy way to harvest by summer and save the fabric, but I might be cursing myself, using a utility knife to get the garlic loose. I’m sure we will post about that when we do it.

      Also, we plan on using your burlap sack trick with carrots this spring. Looking to stock up on sacks this winter.

      Thanks again Mike!


  3. bicklesister says:

    Any close calls with the torch? Are those boots fire rated?
    Leaving the garlic planting to Farmer Bill. I’m still getting one bulb/week from him.

    • Spink Bickle says:

      Years of playing with fire has left me an expert with a torch, and those are Red Wing boots, no silly little torch can hurt those.

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