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QUESTION: Garlic sprouting early

comments (1) September 9th, 2010

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sparksm12 sparksm12, member
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Click To Enlarge Photo: Susan Belsinger

This is my first time planting garlic.  I followed the instructions on the package and got them in the ground as soon as possible before our first hard frost (I planted them 2 weeks ago).  The problem is that they are already sprouting.  The instructions say that if that happens I should mulch it heavily to protect them for the winter, but the shoots are already 2-3 inches high.  Any suggestions?


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Comments (1)

Thanatop writes: Because I don't know your zone, this is a little difficult to answer. Generally, garlic is best planted at or even a bit after your first frost date. If you don't know your zone or first frost date, you can find it from a variety of sources online.

For purposes of this response, I am going to assume that you have planted at or around the first frost date. It is not uncommon for garlic to begin to sprout a little before the winter. Garlic is extremely hardy and can handle this cycle.

To help protect these young sprouts, and to provide some early spring compost, you should gently cover the sprouts with about 4-6" of organic matter. I like a combination of straw, leaves and even a little bit of lawn grass. Just be careful that is does not become too compacted (the straw tends to help prevent this).

In the spring, the shoots will continue to emerge through your "blanket" of organic matter. As the plants continue their growth, the organic matter will decay into a nice fertilizer for the garlic.
Posted: 9:53 am on September 15th
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