How Deep To Plant Garlic In Spring Or The Fall.

Most garlic is planted in the fall. Planting garlic in the fall gives them enough time to mature into large bulbs. Garlic takes about 8 to 9 months to develop. Because they are planted in the fall, they grow through winter. Because they need warmth, you must put sprouted garlic cloves deep into the soil. Winter adds a bit of stress to their life. How deep to plant garlic to escape stress is a common question. You should know that the winter cold is a good thing! The stress encourages them to split into cloves and swell up into large bulbs.

Not planting deep enough is a common mistake people make when it comes to how deep to plant garlic. It makes a huge impact on how deep you plant garlic. Each clove should be planted at least three inches deep and mulched for at least six inches. If you don’t want to mulch, bury the plant at least 5 inches deep if you don’t want to mulch.

Find out that the soil has been properly prepared, so the particles are loose to the desired depth. Garlic undergoes the most extreme freeze-thaw experience if planted in the fall. The cloves will come to the surface if they aren’t buried deep enough.

Even though garlic can withstand extreme cold, it succumbs to dry winter winds. Winds that dry out the soil at the surface. Let’s speak about depth for a moment.

Depth at planting: Can you plant garlic too deep?

How deep you decide to plant your garlic is dependent on a few things. You can plant garlic cloves anywhere from 1″ to 3″ deep. Some growers plant deeper than 3 “inches, but this works only in sandy soils that drain well.

Most of the time, anywhere deeper than 3″ is too much. It will force the garlic cloves to use up valuable energy as they grow out of the ground. This will make the bulbs smaller because the soil will be pushing down on them as they grow. Keep reading.

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how deep to plant garlic
Planting garlic deep

Firstly, soil drainage and soil type are the biggest determinants. Soil retaining a lot of water, such as clay, may force you to plant not more than an inch or 2 inches deep. The same applies if you come from a place with very heavy rains. In such a case, the soil never gets enough time to dry. When soil is always wet and garlic is buried deep, they rot.

In contrast, deep planting is recommended if you come from sandy areas. Sandy soils drain water quickly and also lose it quicker to evaporation. Planting garlic deeper means they are not exposed to evaporation.

The climate of your growing area is the second aspect to consider. A garlic clove’s winter protection increases the deeper it is planted. Winter weather is mild in warmer locations, such as the west coast, and depth is not a major worry. Deep planting garlic in cold climates helps protect the cloves over the winter.

We have stronger clay soils on our farm and very cold winters. This means that the proper planting depth is critical. Depending on the field, we plant our cloves between 1″ and 2″ deep. The garlic is usually deep enough to survive the winter at 2″. But without a mulch layer, 1″ deep garlic can rapidly succumb to winter kill on the more exposed portions.

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More tips on the proper way to plant garlic

Cut fertilizer use

One other thing. To boost garlic development, apply a high-phosphorous fertilizer. High phosphorus fertilizers include bat guano or fish meal. However, don’t over-fertilize it, or the bulbs will be too small.

Remove the scape for bigger garlic bulbs.

The scape is a stem that garlic produces. The scape’s growth hinders the bulb’s maturity to a big size. Cutting it off is essential if you want big bulbs. When you cut off the scape, the plant doesn’t waste energy on its growth.

The best time to cut scapes off is on a sunny day. The sun helps the wounds dry up fast and reduce the chance of infection. You can sell the scapes while they are still fresh. Don’t throw them away. Fresh scapes can fetch a cool $1-3 per pound.

How deep you plant garlic depends on the climate

You’ll need healthy bulbs to begin, then separate them into individual cloves. One clove per hole, root end down, should be the largest and most beneficial. Plant them an inch deep if you predict a mild winter; 2-4 inches deep if you expect a harsh winter.

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