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Old October 7, 2019   #1
bower
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Default how do you space your garlic?

I don't want to waste space since I don't have a lot, but I don't want to get smaller bulbs either. At the farm there is at least a foot between rows, maybe 18 ", and plants are spaced about 8 inches apart. I got some big bulbs the year I used 8 inch spacing and a foot between rows, but then it was a good year for garlic anyway. Last year I tightened up and bulbs were not as big - but it was a really cold year and nobody had really big bulbs this time around.
Omafra says 12 cm (5 inches) minimum spacing in row for porcelains, 7 cm (3 inches?) for smaller bulbed varieties, and a minimum of 20 cm (8 inches) between rows. My dibbler is about an inch so I put 5 inches between holes for the porcelains I just planted today, and 8 inch between rows like last year.

Elsewhere I read that tighter spacing can produce great garlic but requires rich soil, weed control and moisture management. I think my soil is good, and I keep em weeded by hand, but I rarely water so that may be the key issue.
What spacing do you use in your garden or farm, and why does it work best for you?
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Old October 7, 2019   #2
Labradors2
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Hi Bower,

I was amazed when I saw how close together the garlic was planted by a guy who really knows his stuff. He told me it produced well.

SO, I plant each little clove, bearing in mind how big the plant will be at maturity, adding a couple of inches space between, so maybe 6 or 8" apart. I have two rows, so I stagger the cloves and plant them about 10" apart. My soil is pretty good, and I am sure to mulch well with bark chips.

Like you, I don't grow a lot, but it's amazing how much more room I have for growing other things in my veggie garden now

Linda
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Old October 7, 2019   #3
Whwoz
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Recommended spacing by the Australian Garlic Industry Association, as presented by Penny Woodward in her book Garlic, is to space cloves 10 to 15 cm apart, in rows 15 to 30 cm (4-6 inches x 6-12 inches). It is noted that commercial growers often plant double rows 10 cm (4 inches) apart, 60 cm (2 feet) apart. Mine are planted 10 cm/4 inches apart in rows 20 cm/8 inches apart. still another month before I harvest the earliest of them
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Old October 7, 2019   #4
GoDawgs
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I plant two single rows, one down each side of a 4' wide raised bed so I can plant other stuff in the middle of the bed come spring. They are planted 4" apart. I do the same "edges of the bed" scenario for my onions too.
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Old October 8, 2019   #5
guruofgardens
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We plant ours 4” apart.
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Old October 8, 2019   #6
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I plant mine in beds rather than rows and try to leave 8 inches between each large clove, a bit less the smaller cloves that I don't expect to make large heads, either because of the variety or because I haven't been growing them and selecting for large cloves that long.
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Old October 8, 2019   #7
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I plant on beds covered with 1 meter wide black plastic and I have holes about 15-20 cm apart in four rows with 20 cm between the rows . For smaller cloves and rounds I use five rows of holes 15 cm apart.

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Old October 8, 2019   #8
TomNJ
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It's not just a question of nutrients, weeds, and water, but also sunlight. With relatively low leaf surface area, garlic needs sun and tight plantings increase shading. I can't say what is ideal but I plant mine with 6" spacing in rows and 12" between rows, and I average 2.5" bulbs.
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Old October 8, 2019   #9
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If you want big bulbs, you do need good spacing. But if you want maximum production per square meter, closer is certainly the way to go. I tried to find publications about ideal density but can't really find any, it's probably dependent on variety as well.


I myself like equidistant spacing, never really understood the logic of rows for things you don't walk through. Something like 15 cm is what I try to go for (6 inch) and I believe much more than that is not really useful if you have good sun.
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Old October 8, 2019   #10
Barb_FL
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Default Simple question

First time trying to grow garlic.

After I separate the garlic bulb into the cloves, do I need to peel the cloves before planting?

Also, how long before you see a sprout?

Thanks for any info.
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Old October 8, 2019   #11
bower
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The point about sunshine is important for me, and I hadn't thought about shading inside the bed. In a "normal" year we don't get that much sunshine, but in a bad year like this one we really were short of sunshine, even in beds that got full sun. That is probably the reason for poor yield at different locations and spacing across the board - except for the Spanish Roja which really needs more sun than we get. They sized up really poorly for me (spacing was 6 X 8 iirc) and the same problem at the farm, but our friend N. did okay... I will check with her about the spacing. Maybe in a marginal year like this one, more generous spacing is key for the most sun-needy varieties. Linda, your idea of staggering is a good one too.

OTOH I haven't noticed any obvious effect of shading within the bed - you would expect smaller bulbs on the inside or wherever there is less direct sun compared to the outside rows. If there is an effect, it was not enough for me to notice, but then I wasn't thinking about it.... I will pay closer attention in future.
I did try equidistant, I think it was 5X5", two years ago for the small cloves growing up. They didn't size up as much as I hoped, and there is a problem with trees shading those beds. I'm looking for someone to cut those trees within the week, but if I can't get anyone I won't plant garlic there, I will focus on making another raised bed in a sunnier place.

The second bed that I'm working on now is in full sun, and it's for smaller cloves that are growing up from bulbils - I will keep the rows 8 inches/20 cm apart and consider closer spacing inside the row, depending on size. I just marked the rows so that they run S to N, thinking that is the best way for sun to shine in.
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Old October 8, 2019   #12
bower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
First time trying to grow garlic.

After I separate the garlic bulb into the cloves, do I need to peel the cloves before planting?

Also, how long before you see a sprout?

Thanks for any info.

No need to peel the cloves. They need to experience cold before they will sprout. You should probably treat them to a few weeks in the refrigerator before planting. Since you don't have a real winter, I would expect you to see sprouts within a month or so. You might want to check for local information at university extension in Fla or another southern source, as it is not that easy to grow garlic in the south, and special techniques and timing may be required.
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Old October 8, 2019   #13
Barb_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
No need to peel the cloves. They need to experience cold before they will sprout. You should probably treat them to a few weeks in the refrigerator before planting. Since you don't have a real winter, I would expect you to see sprouts within a month or so. You might want to check for local information at university extension in Fla or another southern source, as it is not that easy to grow garlic in the south, and special techniques and timing may be required.
I did peel the cloves but they haven't sprouted. That is when I thought I did it wrong. I bought the soft neck type which is said to works best in hot climates.

I still have bulbs left and will try again. I stored them in the fridge so that accomplishes the cold part.

Thank for you for your response.
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Old October 8, 2019   #14
bower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
I did peel the cloves but they haven't sprouted. That is when I thought I did it wrong. I bought the soft neck type which is said to works best in hot climates.

I still have bulbs left and will try again. I stored them in the fridge so that accomplishes the cold part.

Thank for you for your response.
Peeling shouldn't matter if you did. Some people soak their cloves in one thing or another and lose the wrappers that way too. Maybe they are just taking a little longer than expected...
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Old October 8, 2019   #15
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What I can get away with and what you can get away with are two different things.
This due to the angle of the sun where I live.
I can do it in a 6X6 staggered like the spaces of one color on a checker board.
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