I ordered some softneck garlic from Burpee and didn't pay much attention to the "fine print" I guess. It said it would ship when it was time to plant it out. So it arrived today. I thought I was supposed to plant garlic in October. Can I plant it out now ...or will it last until October? It looks like it is already starting to sprout.
For those of you who like to plant out your garlic in the Fall, you can purchase organic garlic at the grocery store (provided they carry the type/variety you want), separate out the cloves from the fist, and sow those in the Fall. They will come up! I did mine last November and due to our lack-of-Winter, they started coming up the next month. Thankfully we didn't have any hard frosts, so the plants are doing fine and are about a foot tall or so. I've got several plants now. .. Now, I don't know what the "bulbs" are looking like under the soil, I'll have to take a peek this weekend, but I know for sure I've got some very viable healthy growing plants in there.
Garlic can be planted in the spring. Those of us in the south have to plant in the fall, not for a freeze but for the cooler temps that allow the leaf growth before bulbing. I would guess that you can at least try. I don't think the spring temperatures 'normally' get as hot as quickly in Raleigh as they do in central Texas.
The quote below is from The Ohio State University Extension. It clearly states that garlic can be planted in the spring. The key issue is cool temperatures for leaf growth before warm weather causes bulbing.
Garlic must be planted very early in Ohio (March or April) to permit full leaf development. Later spring planting is not successful. It has been found that long days and warm temperatures favor bulb development in the garlic plant. As soon as bulbing starts, leaf initiation ceases. For highest yields, therefore, the cloves must be planted early enough to permit the development of large vegetative plants during the short cool days of March and April
After checking on the NCSU Extension website, I found information that says you may not be that successful planting this late. On that website:
In North Carolina, garlic should be fall planted from mid-September (western NC) through November (eastern NC). The cloves must be planted early enough for large root systems to develop before winter begins. A well-established plant will grow rapidly in the early spring as temperatures begin to rise. Spring planting of garlic is not recommended because the bulbs from spring planted garlic are usually very small and must often be allowed to grow a second season to reach marketable size.
If you have the garlic and it is sprouting, there's no reason not to plant it. It won't last to plant in the fall and even small cloves are better than no cloves.
Ditto, David -- very good info. Wish I could find that type of information on just about every veggie I'd consider planting. I seem to find only the instructions that start off later in the process and sometimes skip the basics, like dig a hole (how deep?), plant the ___, etc. Now, couldn't they elaborate and also address the fertilizer, amendment, etc. questions?