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Planting Garlic in the Western USA with Mike Darcy


September 10, 2021

Garlic is one of those garden crops that many gardeners will have a row or two of and after growing it for a year, they realize how well it produces and with little care. While garlic is not a leading agricultural crop in Oregon, we do rank second in the nation for garlic production. It is probably no surprise that California is the leading state for commercial garlic production and about 90% of the garlic grown in the United States comes from California. In fact, Gilroy, CA, calls itself “the garlic capital of the world” and has a garlic festival each year to celebrate that distinction.

Chopped garlic - Planting Garlic Blog

However, our Pacific Northwest climate seems to suit garlic just fine and it is a very popular crop for many home gardeners. One distinction of garlic is that whereas most home gardens are spring planted, garlic should be planted in the fall. Actually, October is an ideal planting time.

Radius Ergonomic Hand Transplanter

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A fresh shipment of garlic has arrived at Wilco*, just in time for planting. There are choices in the type of garlic that is available and I like to recommend trying more than one variety. The Spanish Roja or hardneck garlic will usually produce tiny bublets on the ends of the flower stalks as well as producing cloves underground.

Spanish Roja Garlic

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planting garlic in raised bed - Planting Garlic Blog

The California garlic or softneck will usually not produce bublets on the flower stems but will have larger underground bulbs. Elephant garlic, which is actually a leek and not a garlic, will have larger bulbs than either the Spanish Roja or the California garlic and has a milder flavor.

California Garlic

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Elephant Garlic

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Regardless of which type you choose; the planting conditions are similar. Garlic is most often planted in rows with the root side down and the cloves planted at a depth of 2 inches and 4-6 inches apart.

Planting Garlic in soil - Planting Garlic Blog

Elephant garlic should be planted deeper, 4-6 inches, and spaced 6-8 inches apart. Adding garden mulch to the soil at time of planting is a benefit. Fertilize in the spring with a nitrogen fertilizer, blood meal is a good organic one.

Elephant garlic - Planting Garlic Blog

Shallots are also now available at Wilco and should be planted as soon as possible. They are members of the allium family and closely related to onions and garlic but have a milder flavor. Planting conditions would be similar to that of garlic.

DeWit Forged Trowel

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It is interesting to note that for many years, garlic has had a steady increase in home garden plantings. Gardeners are realizing how easy it is to grow and its use in cooking is legendary. Not only is it being used for the flavor it imparts to cooking but recent studies show some benefits of both antioxidant and antibiotic effects. Garlic is also said to be a benefit in lowering both cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Fresh garlic - Planting Garlic Blog

If you have not planted a fall garden and have some extra space, garlic would be an ideal crop to try. We have the right growing conditions and now is a perfect time to plant.

*Garlic in stores while supplies last.


We would love to see your garden growing, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.


MIKE’S GARDEN IS LOCATED IN OREGON’S WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND HIS ADVICE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MILD CLIMATE THERE.