Planting Garlic, Shallots, Etc.

Way back in mid-August, I shared our plans to plant some garlic, shallots, multiplier onions, and elephant garlic in the Demo Garden. The planting took place on October 2nd (for the garlic) and on October 16th for the shallots, multiplier onions, and elephant garlic. Here’s a look at that process.

One of the fun (and slightly anti-climatic) aspects of planting garlic is that you get to see what the harvest should look like when you plant!

Contrary to what you might see in the grocery store, there are usually some differences between the different varieties. The differences include bulb size and shape, clove size and shape, number of cloves, color of the papers and clove papers, and of course the raw and cooked flavors! I think the left-most garlic is S & H Silver, not sure what the next one is, Persian Star is the Purple Stripe, and then the right side is Inchelium Red, an artichoke variety. The Master Gardeners planted 11 different varieties of garlic!

The first step in planting garlic is to split the bulbs into cloves. Some varieties have a few large cloves, others have lots of small cloves. Occasionally you’ll see one with lots of large cloves! (The first time I cooked with garlic, I didn’t know what they were calling cloves, so I ended up with LOTS of garlic!)

The larger cloves generally produce larger bulbs of garlic, so you want to choose the largest cloves to plant. You can plant the smaller cloves too, the yield will just be smaller. You could also plant the small cloves to use as “green garlic” like you would green onions.

One of our Master Gardeners that has lots of experience planting garlic was on hand to show everyone else what to do.

Because the garlic is going in our raised beds, we wanted to be careful about using our space efficiently. the garlic was planted 6″ apart and with 6″ in between the rows. It was planted about 2″ deep with the pointy part up!

Two weeks later (October 16th) they planted the shallots, multiplier onions, and elephant garlic. From the left: French Red, Dutch Yellow, Gray (French), and the Sante shallot.

They didn’t get any pictures of the planting process, but the shallots were supposed to be 6″ apart and the multiplier onion about 12″ apart. The elephant garlic is pretty impressive to look at, but the pictures don’t show any context for the size. The heads are supposed to be softball sized.

Most of the garlic and shallots have started growing and are now mulched, so I will share some of those pictures with you later.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on November 14, 2012, in Working in the Garden and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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