In Texas, we planted a lot of garlic. Each spring/early summer, we harvested between 150 and 200 pounds of garlic. This was from May of 2020 . . our last year to garden there and I didn’t even know it was my last year til we found this house in August, 2020. Two drying racks are shown and we had five racks. I don’t think we’ll have quite that much garlic here. 🙂
We always ordered our garlic from Hood River Garlic. To get garlic from them, the order has to be placed way early. I think they run out in February or March. I always ordered four or five different types of garlic but here, since I’m so limited on space, I ordered German Extra Hardy garlic from Rare Seeds/Baker Creek. Another one I like from there is Music Garlic, which is also out of stock at Rare Seeds. The reviews, not only at Rare Seeds, but at other garden retailers, are pretty amazing for both these varieties so I’m anxious to try them since I’ve never grown either type.
Hardneck varieties are recommended for zones 1- 6 and softneck varieties are recommended for zones 7 – 10. I’m zone 6b, but most winters, our lows would be consistent with a zone 7 winter so, while I wouldn’t plant my entire garlic crop in softneck varieties, I think we have a good chance of growing softneck garlic here. The first winter I was here when we had temps down in the -20’s for several nights . . I might would have lost softneck garlic then but those temps were rare for us.
So, for anyone wanting to plant garlic, you’ll need first to know your planting zone, which can be found here, though I usually google “planting zone zip code“.
The second thing and probably a bit more challenging at this point, is to find garlic for planting. German Extra Hardy seems to be hard to find right now but Music garlic is available at several places. I have purchased garlic from grocery stores and I don’t think I’ve ever had any that failed to produce. In fact, I have some here that I bought at Natural Grocer that I plan to plant. For my 4 x 8 bed, I could plant 128 garlic seeds. For us, we have not found a garlic we don’t like.
Our favorite thing to make is black garlic. Here is a black garlic steak sauce that we made a few years back. Another thing I do with it is freeze dry it, then run it through the blender to make it into a powder, sift it and bottle it in spice jars. I’m still using some that we made in Texas. I also smoked some of it, then dried it and made it into a smoked garlic powder.
Our first frost should be around October 20 so I will plant garlic sometime between October 15 and Halloween. Most recommendations are to plant it 4 – 6 weeks before the first frost but here, we’re at about 5 weeks before that predicted first frost and still have temps in the 90’s so I’m going to wait til we are consistently in the low 70’s or upper 60’s before planting it.