YouPlanting Hardnecked Variety Garlic
Preparing The Soil
Good soil preparation is necessary. Garlic prefers a loamy soil with a ph in the range of 6.2 and 7. A reading lower than this means your soil is too acidic. If your soil shows to be too acidic apply a little lime to correct the ph. Now you want to add some organic compost or hummus to your soil which creates a good growing environment. Prepare your soil to a depth of approximately 12 inches.
You want to plant your garlic cloves just before the first hard frost, here in Michigan mid to late October is perfect. This will allow roots to grow out before the ground freezes. We chose the hardnecked variety of garlic to plant because it grows well in cold climates.
Just prior to planting, separate each of the cloves. Remove any cloves that appear to be soft and toss in the compost. To provide adequate room for the bulbs to develop you will want to space each clove 6 inches apart. When planting the cloves of hardnecked garlic, place the pointy end up and plant each clove 3 inches deep.
After the first hard frost lay a layer of organic straw over the garlic bed. This will keep will help prevent the ground from heaving and will help keep the weeds. In the spring be sure to move an straw away from delicate emerging shoots.
David and Valerie Zimmer, owners of Greater Michigan Timber Management and chemical free gardeners.
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