Experienced gardeners know that garlic is best planted in the fall. Thus, the bulb has time to sprout good roots, but not enough time to produce leaves. However, the distance at which you should plant autumn garlic is important. Read on and find out these details.
Garlic is easy to grow
Garlic is the easiest to grow in a garden and to encourage the appearance of the largest bulbs, it is important to pay attention to the spacing of the garlic.
If the puppies are planted too close to each other, the bulbs will not be the required size. Go too far and don’t maximize your garden space.
See also: The first 3 things to do in spring in the garden. Tips for a bountiful harvest
Below you’ll find expert gardeners’ recommendations for the best spacing for hard-necked and soft-necked garlic varieties in a buried garden, raised bed, or container.
You’ll also learn more about the factors that influence how far apart garlic should be planted.
What is the distance at which you should plant autumn garlic
Garlic is a member of the family Garlic and is related to vegetables such as onions, leeks and garlic.
There are a number of factors that can impact garlic spacing in raised beds, buried gardens and even containers.
The spacing strategy consists of planting the garlic cloves in a grid pattern, 15 cm apart.
The soil must be very fertile and this spacing produces lots of medium to large sized bulbs the following summer.
If you want to grow bulbs as large as possible, plant the garlic cloves 15 cm apart, with 10-12 cm between rows.
Note that closer spacing, 5 to 10 cm apart, results in smaller bulbs and pups, but higher overall production. When considering garlic spacing, you need to evaluate your goals.
How far apart to plant garlic in containers
Gardeners who live in apartments, condos, or rental properties may want to plant garlic in pots or fabric garlic beds.
You can grow garlic in containers for bulbs or even green garlic, the aromatic leaves of the garlic plant.
See also: How to get rid of garlic smell. You won’t do it any other way after you learn this secret
In any case, be sure to fill the pot with a rich mixture of high-quality potting mix and compost. Also work with a granular organic fertilizer to ensure a steady supply of nutrients.
If you are growing garlic in bulb pots, space the cloves 10cm apart.
Once the pot is planted, insulate the top of the soil with 5 – 6 cm of straw or shredded leaves and move the pot to a sunny location.
Once temperatures drop in late fall, cold climate gardeners should insulate around the pot with straw or leaves. You can even use bubble wrap!
How far apart to plant garlic bulbs
As mentioned above, hard neck types of garlic produce spikes or flower stalks in early summer.
Most gardeners cut them to promote large bulbs, but you can let some grow and harvest the bulbs.
Bulbs are the small pups that form at the top of the stem. They can be eaten or planted.
Bulbils take two to three years to grow into a full-sized garlic bulb, but it’s an easy and cheap way to produce a lot of garlic.
See also: How to plant garlic correctly in autumn. 9 useful tricks from real gardeners
Prepare the garden bed as you would for normal-sized puppies, adding compost or aged manure, as well as vegetable fertilizer.
Plant the bulbs so that they are about 2.5 cm deep and 2.5 to 2 cm apart.
Mark the bed well because when they emerge in the spring the plants are quite small, like a blade of grass, and you can easily miss them.
Mulch with an inch or two of straw to protect the bed over winter. In the spring, carefully pull the mulch back to allow the shoots to grow.
Harvest in mid-summer, when you harvest normal-sized garlic bulbs, and store until you’re ready to plant again in the fall.
Replant again in mid to late autumn, planting them 10 to 15 cm apart.
How deep to plant garlic
The distance between each puppy is not the only aspect to consider. You’ll also want to plant your garlic at the right depth
Garlic cloves should be planted so that the top of the clove is 2.5cm below the soil surface.
If you plant cloves too shallow, it often happens that they are destroyed by winter.
Gardeners in milder areas, where cold temperatures are not a problem, may want to plant garlic cloves as little as an inch deep.
Once planted, cover the garlic bed with 5 – 6 cm of straw or shredded leaves to insulate the bed for the winter.
The following spring, you will need to topdress the garlic plants with an application of blood meal when they are about 30 centimeters tall.
Ensure consistent humidity and water deeply weekly if it hasn’t rained. If you are growing hardneck garlic, cut off the scapulae with garden shears once they curl.
Harvest the bulbs when about half of the leaves have turned yellow. Garlic is cured for at least 3 to 4 weeks to develop flavor and long-term storage quality.
Here are 4 points to keep in mind when deciding how far apart to plant your garlic cloves:
How garden size affects garlic spacing
Gardeners with plenty of growing space can afford to plant garlic at a distance that encourages large bulbs. Those with small gardens or who grow in pots have a choice.
They can plant garlic at the ideal distance for large bulbs or plant a little closer.
Planting garlic cloves close together results in smaller bulbs and cloves, but a higher overall yield.
If you plan to plant garlic closer than the recommended spacing, be sure to provide ideal growing conditions.
As with most varieties, the ideal soil for growing garlic is a fertile, well-drained loam with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
First, add a few inches of compost or aged manure to the soil, as well as a granular organic plant fertilizer.
Then, provide consistent moisture to the plants throughout the growing season. Also remove any emerging weeds to reduce competition for light, water and nutrients.
The type of garlic influences plant spacing
There are two types of garlic you can plant: soft neck garlic and hard neck garlic. They vary in cold hardiness, clove size and shape, and garlic scapule production.
The garlic softneck it is not as cold-resistant as the varieties hardneck and is therefore chiefly cultivated by those who inhabit a temperate climate.
Each softneck garlic bulb is full of cloves and, unlike hard neck varieties, does not develop a central flowering stem, called a scape.
See also: He put garlic over the flowers in the garden and couldn’t believe what happened in 24 hours. The lesser known trick
Softneck garlic has a long shelf life, with bulbs lasting up to a year if stored at the proper temperature and relative humidity.
Certain types of hard-necked and soft-necked garlic produce giant-sized bulbs. Porcelain garlic, like Music, produces large bulbs and is best spaced at least 15 – 20 cm apart.
Rocambole varieties such as Spanish Roja are also loved for their large bulbs and produce the largest bulbs when spaced 15 – 20 cm apart.
Garden weeding has an impact on garlic spacing
The weeding strategy is to pull weeds as soon as they appear. If you plan to use a garden hoe, or other weeding tool, you may want to leave a little more space between the garlic plants to accommodate the tool.
You don’t want to damage the stems or leaves of your garlic plants when weeding, as this can impact growth as well as introduce plant disease.
See also: The best fertilizer for soil. What should you feed the soil with in the fall, actually
Plant diseases can affect garlic spacing
If you have had problems with garlic diseases in the past, such as white rot, downy rot or rot botrytisdon’t skimp on spacing.
Give the plants enough space to ensure good air circulation through the foliage. Overcrowded plants are more prone to disease because the leaves take longer to dry after rain or irrigation.
If disease has been a problem in previous growing seasons, also be sure to mulch your garlic plants with several inches of straw.
This can minimize the spread of soil-borne organisms.