As colder temperatures become more commonplace, most crops are coming out of season. But, in the Pacific Northwest, October is the perfect time to plant garlic. In our school gardens, kindergarteners are planting garlic right now to be used in next years cooking classes!
Before you start planting, check out some tips from our very own Farmer Joe:
- Prep the soil
- Clear all weeds
- Loosen soil with a digging-fork or broadfork
- Rake the bed
- Disassemble garlic bulbs into individual cloves. Sort out the smallest and malformed cloves. You only want to plant the best seeds!
- Dibble 2” deep holes at 6” spacing between each hole in a row. If you plant multiple rows, space the rows at least 8” apart.
- Plant one clove per hole, with the pointy end up!
- Spread mulch over the bed.
In addition to planting your garlic, October is a great time to start planting cover crops like fava beans, alfalfa, peas, barley or clover OR starting to sheet mulch. Sheet mulching and planting cover crops on all empty beds can prevent erosion and leaching of soil when it gets rainier. Cover crops can be chopped down in January/February into the beds adding nutrients as the plants compost directly into your soil.
*Seedmoney, ‘Planting Garlic’. YouTube. 2007.
**Dawling, Pam. ‘How and when to plant garlic”. Growing for Market. Oct. 2010.