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MockY
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Location: Sacramento, Zone 9b

Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

First time garlic grower here...

Conditions:
[*] No vernalization took place. The cloves were planted as soon as they arrived in the mail.
[*] Cloves were planted about 2-3 inches deep
[*] Here is Zone 9b, the ground never freezes but I usually experience a handful of frosts every winter, sometime a little more.
[*] Type of garlic: Inchelium Red Garlic - Softneck

With all I've read, planting garlic is done in October around here. I promptly planted around 35 bulbs in one of my raised beds a little less than 2 weeks ago (mid October) in a bed prepped with composted chicken manure, finished compost, and a healthy dose of Azomite. Today I noticed that most of them are already starting to pop up and one would think that all plants have green foliage in about 1-2 weeks. This was faster than I anticipated and I wonder now what to do when frost actually starts to appear. The weather during this "germination" time has been mid 80s during the day and low 50s at night.

Do I cover the bed with a garden fabric when frost is in the forecast?

I don't really know what I was expecting, but somehow I envisioned that they would not pop up until the last frost had passed. Boy was I wrong.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Do nothing! Everything is fine. The garlic will grow for awhile until it gets cold enough to put it into dormancy. Then it will just sit there. I grew garlic in my zone 6 location where the ground would freeze solid and temps might not get ABOVE freezing ever for at least a solid month. They did the same thing, sprout when first planted and then sit there dormant until days getting longer and warmer woke them up. I didn't cover them, except to mulch around them a bit. They did fine. Garlic is extremely cold hardy. In your very mild winter, you don't have to worry about cold at all. You might worry whether it will get enough cold to make it bulb up. You were right to get the soft neck variety which tolerates warm winters better.

Here's an article about growing garlic in the south.

https://greyduckgarlic.com/Southern_Garl ... Guide.html
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Moth Queen
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

I am in 9A.

I just popped a few in the other week, I grow them just for the greens, and mine finally sprouted the other day.

No special care, no covering, no fussing, even put in very bad soil. I have been doing them for years. One batch will last about 2 seasons before I need to get them again.

I just get the ones right from the store I am going to cook and eat anyway, I just take a few bulbs and peel them, score the top and just put them in.

Good luck
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imafan26
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Getting the right variety for your zone is the most important thing. In the "south" you have to grow the short day varieties of onions and garlic.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Taiji
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Since this subject has come up again, I was curious what you all think about which variety would be good for my zone (7b supposedly) and a latitude of about 34.6. Or am I in that transitional area where either short or long day varieties would work?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Well, onions come in short day, intermediate day, long day varieties.

I think garlic only comes in the hardneck vs soft neck.

MockY - I don't know where you got your garlic cloves from. Could they have been pre "vernalized" (which we sometimes call cold stratified)? If not and you did not chill them before planting, there's a good chance they won't bulb up very much.

Keep us posted on how they do! :)
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erins327
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Yup, agreed with what has already been said. Us occasional frosters needed to plant short day onions and soft neck garlic.

Even the soft neck garlic can tolerate occasional freezes with no problem. So do nothing!

I have to get mine in the ground soon too. It always hard to find them. My local nursery always looks at me funny when I ask them when their garlic comes in, I don't know why they are not educated that we are supposed to plant in October. And I've bought them at the grocery before and planted, but I don't know what variety they are and they are usually never as successful as the softnecks I buy at the nursery.
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theforgottenone1013
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

For those in southern states, especially the deep south, you might want to look into creole garlic. It's a hardneck type that's supposed to do well down there.

I grow a few different hardneck and softneck varieties and they all laugh at cold weather. A few months of being frozen during winter and they come through it fine.

-Rodney

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

I started growing garlic, just with garlic cloves from the store. After that I just saved some of my own and replanted them.

But probably easier for me to use store bought, because my guess is they are more likely to come from colder areas -- though I don't know-- apparently a lot of the garlic in the stores comes from China, so who knows?
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catgrass
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Ok, I'm in the deep south-70 miles from the Gulf in Louisiana. I don't get technical-Heck, I don't even know what they are-I plant garlic I get from the grocery store. Hardly any care, and in the early spring, I'll have plenty. Ya'll get over-technical sometimes.
zone 9 Southwest La.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

I live in zone 12a, definitely frost free. I cannot get garlic shipped in from most suppliers, but the garlic that come from Christopher ranch that is sold at Costco come from Gilroy, California and is the right kind for me. Many of the ones from China have been treated to prevent sprouting so they may not work.
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theforgottenone1013
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

To tell if the garlic in a store is domestic or imported garlic just check the bottom of the bulb. If it still has roots attached then you know for sure it was grown in the US. If the roots have been scooped out then it could be imported as all imported garlic must have its roots removed.

-Rodney

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MockY
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Location: Sacramento, Zone 9b

Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Thanks for the input people. I have cabbage and radishes growing in the same bed, so I will only cover that half side of the bed once frost rolls along, and leave the garlic side exposed to the elements.

rainbowgardener: I bought the Inchelium Red from Highmowingseeds.com and they don't state whether they are vernalized or not. No other information than to plant the cloves and enjoy a half a year later. I guess we'll see what happens. It's always a first for everything.

To celebrate the fact that it is raining properly today for the first time in what seems like 5 years, I figured I'd post how they look like now even though it may not be all too exciting. Almost all have shown sign of life. Note that the irrigation system was set up for the summer crops and will be reconfigured (If I even bother since I so much more prefer hand watering and have no plans on going on vacation next year) or removed at a later date.
2015-11-01 12.52.32.jpg

catgrass
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

Unless you have a real hard freeze, you don't need to cover the cabbage, the radish, either.
zone 9 Southwest La.

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jal_ut
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Re: Planting Garlic in Zone 9b

I have been growing garlic for a while now. At first it was try a lot of varieties until I found one that would actually work here. I can say that all garlic varieties do not do well everywhere. Look for something that works there. You might ask other gardeners in the area what varieties they are successful with? Ya, they usually show in the fall and overwinter then take off come spring. They may possibly grow all winter there in zone 9B? Have fun!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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