Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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When to Mulch Garlic

November 3, 2016

Mulching garlic about six weeks after planting, once the soil freezes, may help protect the bulbs from frost heaving over winter – although garlic planted 4 inches deep and early enough for a good root system to develop may not heave even if it is not mulched. Even if garlic is well rooted and planted deeply enough to prevent heaving, mulching will protect soils from erosion and nutrient loss over winter. Different growers mulch with different materials, including straw, hay (which likely contains weed seeds), shredded leaves or even hilled soil. Some pull the mulch off in spring to hasten soil warming and promote garlic growth; others leave it on. Read more in "Garlic, In Depth" in the summer 2013 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.


Plant Garlic Soon

October 8, 2015

Many Mainers shoot for a mid-October planting date for garlic to encourage good root growth before the soil freezes - often around Thanksgiving time. "Getting the timing right is rather a crapshoot," says MOFGA member and gardener extraordinaire Tom Vigue in his article "So When is the Right Time to Plant Garlic?" "Who knows when the ground will freeze this year, or next year, or any year?" asks Vigue. "All we can do is try our best." To do your best, read Tom's article and MOFGA's coverage of our 2013 Spring Growth Conference on garlic.



Got Your Garlic In?

October 23, 2014

In Maine, mid- to late-October is a great time for planting garlic. Roots have time to get established and hold the bulbs in place before the ground freezes around Thanksgiving, but shoots don't have time to emerge and suffer damage from freezing. Read all about planting depth, spacing, mulching, weed control, harvesting and storing garlic, and controlling pests, in our article, "Garlic, In Depth."