Garlic - Fall versus Spring Planting

  Hort Snacks - October 2017
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 It is the eternal dilemma of many producers. Do you plant in the fall or in the spring? When it comes to a perennial crop like garlic, it is perhaps extra important, as you have to weigh the advantages versus potential crop loss risks, as you are overwintering the crop. Here are some points to consider when growing garlic.


Spring Planting
Reduced risk of winter injury
Bulbs must be chilled to break dormancy prior to planting
Plant survival is ensured
Poor spring conditions can delay planting, resulting in delayed plant development, poor bulbing and reduced yields
No over-wintering required
Some storage losses can occur
Fall Planting
Bulb dormancy is overcome by cold winter temperatures
Delayed fall planting can result in reduced clove survival due to winterkill
No spring-planting delays
Winter protection is required if snowfall is not sufficient
Plant growth commences early in spring
Potential for higher yields and larger bulb sizes

Tips for Fall Planting:
  • Planting date is determined by the average date of the first fall frost
  • Delayed planting will reduce winter survival
  • Winter protection
    • Cover with straw if snow cover is thin, winter thaws occur or if wind protection is not adequate
    • A minimum of 6 inches (15 cm) of snow is required for winter protection
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on September 29, 2017.