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Planting garlic

So you’ve selected your seed stock, prepared your soil and now it’s time to plant. Make sure you’ve chosen an area that gets full sun, or mostly full sun.

We plant in raised beds to help with drainage, South Gippsland gets a lot of rain, and for ease of harvesting. In your veg patch it’s not really necessary, but if you’ve ploughed up an area to sow, then a raised bed would be good.

A single ‘Toblerlone’ mound with one row or a if you have a bedformer or engage a contractor to form beds then it’s more of a ‘Kit Kat’ finger and you can plant 4 or so across. Leave around 15cm between each plant, if you have the luxury of space a little more.

Only plant about 1-2cm deep. Some growing guides will say 5cm, even 8cm but we have found it is too deep for cooler climates.

The bulb will start forming at around 5 months and will want to expand. If it’s too deep and the soil has compacted, then it will be hard for it to expand. If it’s closer to the surface it is free to grow.

Break bulb into individual cloves. The bigger the clove the bigger the plant, and hopefully bulb so choose the bigger cloves to plant,small one for cooking. Or do a test patch and see how big they get compared to bigger ones.

Make a shallow 1-2cm hole, place garlic clove pointy side up in and cover over. Or just push it into the soil about 1-2cm. Don’t peel skin off, if it comes off a bit just plant, Should be fine.

If you come across any cloves with mould or holes indicating a pest might live there, then take away from the crop and put in the bin.

Don’t leave in the field as it can attract pests or spread disease.

Now the waiting begins…