I have grown garlic here in WA for 5 years with great harvests, planting in October and harvesting in July. It always has frozen back several times each winter and popped right back. But this year-still November, and we have had 4 straight nights with lows in the teens, and that's expected to continue for several more - day highs barely at freezing. I wonder if anyone can tell me what to expect- I will probably lose many perennials this winter- strawberries, celery, chives, mint, etc that normally survive. What is ahead with this ferocious start? I guess the Farmer's Almanac is right about a hard winter!
Do you think my Garlic will survive?
Hmm. Mine has never died back in the cold, it just keeps going. What kind are you growing, and at what temp do they die back?
NOAA says for us we are probably going to have a normal winter despite the cold start. Hope so.
We typically will have a few lows that are -10°F to 0°F a couple to a week of -20°F, many days that are 0°F to 10°F and 5 out of 7 nights here will be in the low twenties and teens or below from now until the end of March.
Garlic is grown regularly around here. I believe most of it is hard neck. I'll tell you in the spring how soft neck does.
Strawberries grow great around here and even farther north. I don't know if there are ones that are only marginally hardy. I don't think so.
My Chives grow and expand every year and the only thing I've every done is clip grass back from them.
There are a lot of us that would wish that cold weather would kill mint off, not a chance.
I would mulch all the plants that you consider (bitter) cold intolerant. I use oak leaves since we have an abundant supply of them and they are free. I mulch my more tender plants (ginger, canna, asparagus, and sometime my garlic [I have over 500 cloves planted]) with 4-6" of leaves. Don't grind the leaves up though. Leave them whole since that allows better aeration and limits packing.
Ken in Mississippi
klrkkr, I think at this point it is too late for mulch- I have about 10 big bags of leaves, and have some of them around plants, but if I put loose leaves down, they would be in the next county very soon-we have fierce winds here very often. I feel pretty sure the garlic will survive- it always has, and other than that, I think my garden has been downsized by Mother Nature! There are just too many to protect.
I am growing a lot of (southern) soft-neck and Creole garlic. These varieties are more tender than the hard-necks. Also, I have plastic mesh around my garden (to keep the rabbits out) and have my ginger/canna boxed in to keep them from taking over the landscape. These barriers keep the leaves from blowing away.
Hard neck lives soft necks have problems but most will live. Truth of it is soft neck will do just fine planted in the spring. I even planr a lot in pots anf start in the GH, plant four in a four inch pot and transplant when the weather gets mild. Easier to weed that way.
Perhaps that works in WA but I doubt it would work here in MS. Our summers are simply too hot, with highs averaging well into the 90's and lows in the 70's. My experience in growing garlic is that it is a cool weather crop.
You won't get anyything if you plant garlic here in the spring. The early hot weather prompts bulb formation way before the plant is ready to build a decent bulb.
Eastern wa is hotter than hot and much of the garlic seed for Calif s commercial crop is grown there. Calif is not exactly cool.
I see your logic it is easier to do nothing and guess than try. Hope you have a comfy rocking chair for the winter lol whatever works happy growing and may your garlic be big and flavorful.
My garlic does quite well planted in late fall, thank you, and I'm not "guessing." Fall is the best planting time for garlic in subtropical southeast. You know that not everything grows the same way everywhere, right?
I lived in CA for 20 years. The climate is radically different. Temperature isn't everything.
Not to pile on, but Nicole is correct. If you think WA and CA have anywhere the same climate as the deep south, you need to spend a summer here. Have you ever visited Gilroy, CA? I have several times. It is called "The Garlic Capitol of the World" for a reason and their climate is far, far different than mine here in Mississippi. Also, typically a single variety is grown there, strickly for commercial reasons, and it is anything but "gourmet" garlic. I would never bother to plant it.
ken excuse me I have a few summers in Clarksdale Mississippi I was born there. Chances are you are right .If I still lived there I would try planting in the gh and putting out plants as soon as the ground is thawed enough just for fun and to see if it has merit .
Nicole I know about the different climates CA has I lived in Vallejo and San Francisco. Even Washington. has different climates.
Jo Parrot lives in Wa what I am suggesting may work for her should she choose to try it Bless your Little hearts.
As I wrote above I've always been told that hard neck is what to grow in upstate NY and I've got some planted. I wanted to try some soft neck, so I ought some really nice looking bulbs from the store and planted them. All I have in it is some time and three bucks for the garlic. One of two things will happen. I will get garlic or I won't get garlic and I've learned something. Either way I'm ahead.
Thanks, everyone for the opinions and suggestions. I think what I plant is hardneck- they are and always have been from the grocery store. Time will tell whather the extended teen temps at night will kill my plants-
I always say if you want to know how to grow a particular crop visit a commercial grower In northern Nevada and Northern California (Tulelake) the pros plant in October and harvest in late summer...Bear in mind both of those places usually get some sub zero temps each winter
Garlic, strawberries, chives, mint all do fine in my Zone 5, where winter is way colder than anything you'll get. I don't grow celery, but think it's not hardy here.
You certainly get much colder and more prolonged cold temperatures than here in NE Mississippi. So far our late fall has been the coldest in memory. We have already had six mornings with temperatures in the 20's, and have four more mornings this week predicted to get into the mid to lower 20's. These temperatures are just unheard of in the deep south for November.
I have three varieties of lettuce, three onions, broccoli, celery, and ten varieties of garlic growing in the raised garden. I also have mint and Italian and garlic chives growing in pots. So far everything looks good.
In Illinois areas where strawberries are grown, it is typical to cover them with straw and most recently growers have been just using plastic to cover them.
Food for thought.
I plant my strawberries in cinder blocks that edge my garden, and this year I also have some in tiered planters, and they are the ones I am worried about. I feel sure the roots are frozen, but time will tell if they make it.