STOCK UP FOR THE YEAR
TIME TO GROW GARLIC
In the Eastern Townships for 25 years
A GUIDE TO GROWING canadian MUSIC VARIETY GARLIC
Garlic needs well-drained and wind-protected soil. Avoid planting garlic in areas exposed to winter winds, since it isn’t resistant to harsh freezing temperatures. You can add mulch or not, but if you do, the seedlings will break the surface about one week later. If you plan to weed mechanically over a large area, don’t use any mulch. You can also plant windbreak plantings every 20 feet or install snow fences to block the wind (although the latter method is more expensive).
You can buy organic seeds of Music variety garlic from our online store and plant garlic intended for human consumption.
We recommend Grade 1 garlic of medium size, which has the best quality/price ratio (about 20 bulbs, which yield approximately 80-100 seeds-cloves).
For orders over $1 000, contact us by email, email@example.com, or by telephone, 819 849-0564.
Once you’ve purchased the bulbs, separate them into cloves. Keep the skin, but it’s not a problem if some cloves end up peeled while being separated.
Every clove planted in soil will yield a new bulb. The number of cloves on the new bulb depends on the number of leaves. As a guideline, if your plant has 10-11 leaves, it will make 5-6 cloves. If it has 7-9 leaves, it will make 3-4 cloves.
Plant autumn variety garlic from September to late October. If you fall behind in your planning, you could stretch the planting into November! Till the soil to rid it of perennial weeds. An early planting will allow the cloves to set down a solid root system, which will provide good resistance in winter and strong growth in spring. Don’t worry if you see green shoots in the fall.
Plant the clove with its small pointy tip upwards if you wish to dry (and sell) your garlic with a very straight stalk. Otherwise, the direction of the clove in the soil is not important.
Leave 5 to 6 inches (12-15 cm) between the plants, 20 to 30 inches (50-75 cm) between the rows, and plant cloves 2 to 3 inches (5-7.5 cm) deep.
Fertilize the soil 1 month before planting, using a good compost or poultry manure.
Throughout the growing season, garlic will need 1 inch of water per week. Stop watering 2 weeks prior to harvest. In rainy summers, good soil drainage is essential. If the soil is heavy and not well drained, you can grow your garlic on hills, but this is not ideal. We have observed that watering is a more important factor than fertilization as far as yield is concerned. In a well-drained clay soil, water is better conserved and watering is less critical than in sandy soil.
Keep the soil free of weeds. The secret is to till the soil well before weed shoots break the surface or when they barely do. This light hoeing is quick and easy to do and does not damage the garlic’s surface roots. It also allows the soil to retain moisture.
If you also wish to consume garlic scapes, harvest them when they’ve grown one and a half turns, before the stem straightens, generally between June 20 and 30.
Harvest bulbs between 4 and 5 weeks after harvesting the garlic scapes, generally the last week in July or the first week in August. If possible, do so on a dry and windy day. External skins will be paper-thin and you will be able to feel a space between the bulb and the stem. Do not wait too long, as the heads will then open and lose their nice tight shape.
Dry garlic, with stems on or off, in a heated and well-ventilated facility (especially important in humid weather). With the stems still on, the bulbs will be firmer and of better quality. If you plant large quantities of garlic, drying will be quicker and less risky if you cut off the stems and roots. If you find fungus on the stems, remove it: a thorough drying will stop their growth. Handle garlic with care, as it bruises as easily as apples.
Store garlic in a dry location, maintaining humidity between 50% and 60% and the temperature between 18°C and 21°C. Music garlic will keep from one harvest to the next. Do not store bulbs in the cold, except those you want to use for planting.