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Looks Like We Don’t Have To Worry About Vampires

March 29th, 2011

The garlic that I planted last fall is looking great this spring. I’m interested to see how the different varieties grow and the difference between the ones that were soaked previous to planting and the ones that weren’t. I love doing experiments to see if all those extra tips are really worth the time and effort.

Yesterday afternoon I gave the garlic and shallots beds a watering with some Neptune’s Harvest (which I purchase by the 5 gallon bucket) to give them a nice boost of nutrients for spring growth. I find that this product works wonders for growing healthy plants, especially for those of us with really lean soil.

Next week I’ll be scraping back the mulch and adding some bone meal to the top of the soil then reapplying the mulch. I’ll apply more bone meal in early May, this will help the garlic develop larger bulbs since mine tend to be on the small side they need a good amount of phosphorus. One thing I love about growing garlic in the garden is the flavor, it’s so much better than the storebought bulbs. I also love the variety that you can grow. Mr Chiots and I eat a lot of garlic as we love the flavor and the health benefits it provides. (for all varieties I’m growing and planting info read this post). It looks like we’ll be vampire free for another year thanks to the lovely garlic that overwintered so well!

Are a lover of fresh garlic? Do you grow any in your garden?

35 Comments to “Looks Like We Don’t Have To Worry About Vampires”
  1. Ken Toney on March 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Your garlic looks great! I planted mine late, a week ago, so I’m sure it will be on the small side this year. I’ll side dress it with bone meal like you suggested. I can’t wait to hear how you like the many varieties you grew.

    Reply to Ken Toney's comment

  2. Beegirl on March 29, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I planted garlic last spring (silly me), then mom moved it twice. Needless to say..the garlic didn’t make it. Going to try again this FALL!
    We love garlic. Need to work on onions too..

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

  3. Jennifer Fisk on March 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I planted a 10 x 10 plot last fall with amendments. The snow cover hasn’t completely receded so I haven’t been able to pull up the straw to see if there are green sprigs showing. Perhaps today with temps in the 40’s winter’s grasp will be loosened enough for a peek. I too use Neptune for a little nutritional boost. This will be the third season of this particular garlic family so hoping for large bulbs this time. I can almost taste the scape pesto.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2011 at 6:53 am

      MMM, scapes. We live to saute ours or grill them. I also love them mixes in with rice or in stir fries.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Christine on March 29, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Oh my gosh, I love fresh garlic. I’ve been keeping track of how much we’ve eaten since November, and my fiance and I have consumed a remarkable eight pounds. Which is a LOT of garlic.

    Reply to Christine's comment

  5. Judith on March 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

    We grew garlic for the first time last year and it turned out great. I didn’t do anything special other than remember to plant it in the fall (victory was mine) and side dress with some compost in the spring. I’ll have to try the bone meal thing. I must say too that while I didn’t mind store bought garlic before growing my own I sure did after. I was very sad and a bit ornery transitioning back to store bought. I may have waxed a bit (un)poetic about just how much the sb garlic sucked for a few months to the amusement of none. As to how much we like garlic? the 2 1/2 lbs I harvested lasted about 2 months! Also, also, I love your blog! Thanks so much.

    Reply to Judith's comment

  6. Melissa on March 29, 2011 at 8:44 am

    This is my first year growing garlic and it is doing smashing! It’s been so easy and effortless! I’m going to double my planting next year! Can’t wait for fresh garlic!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  7. kristin @ going country on March 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Still working through last year’s garlic, cutting out the shoots in the middle–supposedly makes garlic taste bitter. We have a lot left. And a lot coming up in the garden. The only sign of green in the garden at this time of year is the fall-planted garlic and shallots. Bless ’em.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  8. Estelle on March 29, 2011 at 10:51 am

    One garlic plant that I did not pull last year came back really strong… We’ll see how it turns out. Do you buy the Neptune’s Harvest product online or at a brick & mortar store? I wonder what is the best way to purchase such bulky items. I use Dr Earth products for my containers but I have not decided on any special product for my earth garden, I need to see what Neptune’s Harvest is all about :)

    Reply to Estelle's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

      I purchased a gallon jug of it from a local store last year, but this year I purchased a 5 gallon barrel from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, along with the special hose attachment that you drop into the bucket and it draws the proper amount during watering. This makes it much easier when watering large areas.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Estelle on March 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm

        Wow, thanks for the tip, I will check the hose out!

        to Estelle's comment

  9. Amy Westbeld on March 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    We don’t plant garlic in our garden.


    Reply to Amy Westbeld's comment

  10. Danielle on March 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    We love garlic too. This year we won’t be planting any because of space, but we own a copy of the Garlic Lovers Cookbook – we put it almost every dish.

    Reply to Danielle's comment

  11. Sincerely, Emily on March 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Yes, I plant garlic. Fresh garlic – all the way. There was some garlic that came up in one of the flower beds when we moved here and when I pulled the bulbs up last year I left all the little baby nubs in there and they are growing well. They were a bit crowded so when they started coming up I dug them and spaced them out for more room. I also planted a bulb of garlic I purchased and that is doing well. Then my neighbor thinned his bulbs and I transplanted some of those and they are also doing well Anxious to have more fresh garlic because my stash from last year is dwindling down to 1 bulb! I haven’t seen any of these “scrapes” growing off mine like you all mention. Do those grow at a certain time or from a certain type of garlic? Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      I believe soft neck type garlic does not produce scapes, this much be the type you’re growing. Mine are all hard neck varieties.

      here’s what they look like: /2009/06/23/garlic-scapes/

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Sincerely, Emily on March 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

        Thanks for the link. Mine definitely do not have scrapes…now I know it is soft neck garlic. Emily

        to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  12. Dana on March 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I LOVE fresh garlic. It’s my first year gardening, but I’m planning to plant some this fall. Do you have any favorite varieties?

    Reply to Dana's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      I usually order a collection for my climate from Gourmet Garlic Gardens. The purple varieties I’ve grown in the past have been fantastic. Both time’s I’ve grown and harvested they’ve gotten mixed up after harvest, so I don’t know which variety is which, I’ll have to be better about keeping them in separate baskets this year.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. MAYBELLINE on March 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Oh yes. Loads of garlic planted in the fall. It should be ready in May or June.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  14. Marcia on March 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I love fresh garlic! But I have to be careful not to eat too much or else the smell becomes very present in sweat and I’ll be self conscious at the gym. I’ve ordered some spring garlic (I missed the cutoff for fall planting) and will grow my first bulbs this year. I know they will be smaller but at least I’ll have some.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  15. KimP on March 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I harvested my first-ever planting last July and was so pleased with myself. :-) I have a bigger batch growing this year.

    My husband laughs at me because commercial farmers around here grow a LOT of garlic – I could just grab some of their after-harvest leftovers. But I want to try it on my own. :-)

    Reply to KimP's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Oh, but the ones you grow at home are so much better, not to mention you can get a lot of interesting varieties.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  16. Sara on March 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Garlic was our main success last year in our first little raised bed. Ours just started coming up too. I forgot which is the re-planted from last year and which is the newly purchased variety, but hopefully I’ll figure that out eventually. I’m not sure my shallots have come up but I am hopeful–I absolutely love shallots and find them ridiculously expensive. (It’s an onion! I know it’s not harder to grow than other alliums, except perhaps for me…). I planted a ton and may have to weed out a bit because I wasn’t expecting as many garlic plants to come as actually did.

    Reply to Sara's comment

  17. Nancy on March 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    This is our second year with Anna our 6 year old helping plant them. We love the scapes and how good the garlic tastes in our food.

    This was last years post:

    Reply to Nancy's comment

  18. Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig on March 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I love to use fresh garlic…but would you believe? I’ve never grown it! That definitely needs to change…

    Reply to Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig's comment

  19. Jennifer Fisk on March 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I checked this afternoon and my Garlic is up 1inch+ and the Rhubarb is pushing through the mulch. Spring is now more than just something on the calendar. It is real!

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  20. Katrina on March 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I didn’t plant any last fall because I thought I had enough to last for a while…I was wrong. I have above 5 bulbs left and I use garlic a lot! Oops. I guess I’ll have to plant some every fall from now on. It’s so easy to grow which makes it even better!

    Reply to Katrina's comment

  21. Kathi on March 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I am in zone 5B and planted garlic for the first time this past fall. After reading everyone’s posts I am now excited to see if anything is coming up under the straw. Should I remove the straw? It is kind of soggy and matted looking. My chives are growing well.

    Reply to Kathi's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      You can peel back some of the straw depending on how thick it is. Mine have a 1-2 inch layer of leaves as mulch and they grew up through it just fine.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Jennifer Fisk on March 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

      I just lifted the straw to have a peek. I leave my straw mulch in place and the garlic leaves make their way through it. The straw keeps weeds down and moisture in. After I harvest the garlic, I till the straw into the soil where it decomposes adding nutrients and tilth.

      Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  22. Donna B on March 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I planted garlic last year and I thought that I’d pulled it all but oops, I’ve got about 30 volunteers that I’ve transplanted to where I want them. I’ve heard you don’t plant it by beans. I planted it last year with my broccoli and I had NO problems with aphids like I usually do. I tuck garlic into stray corners to drive off the pests.

    Reply to Donna B's comment

  23. Sophia on March 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Suzy, I have a mulch question! We used the copious maple leaves in our front yard to mulch our perennial bed, which is also where we put the garlic (scattered in patches throughout the bed – a little unorthodox, but it was what worked for us this year!). Do you let the leaves stay down on your beds in general or do you remove the mulch? Garlic and other spring bulbs seem to be poking up nicely through the mulch, but we don’t want to smother the other plants as the season progresses. Any suggestions?


    Reply to Sophia's comment

    • Susy on March 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      I usually pull the mulch away from the perennials but leave in place. I also mulch with leaves, although I chop them up with the mower first. If you didn’t chop them you may want to remove some of them as they to get a tad slimy and attract slugs (but that depends on your climate).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  24. elizabeth on April 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Homegrown or bought from small farms garlic is the only way to go! I don’t like grocery store garlic at all anymore.

    I have the Neptune’s Harvest seaweed, but not the fish, don’t like the smell. I guess the seaweed wouldn’t have as much food for the garlic as the fish? I put bone and blood meal in with the garlic when I planted it in the Fall.

    What do you think about this foilar spray mentioned on, I was thinking of trying it, wonder why the foilar spray they use has baking soda in it??
    “Some growers recommend fertilizing garlic in the early spring to give it a boost just as the foilage gets a good start but before the plant begins to form a bulb, and I think that’s usually a good idea. Others say that if your soil is naturally fertile enough you don’t even have to fertilize at all during the growing season. If you’re not going to do a spring fertilization, we think a foliar spray with a tablespoon each of seaweed, molasses and baking soda in a gallon of water two or three times during the spring helps the garlic finish out its growth, nicely – but do not foliar feed it within a month of harvest. It is a good idea to make sure the garlic is not real dry when you spray as that may not be beneficial to the plants. “

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

    • Susy on April 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Some people use the baking soda for disease/pest problems. I generally just use some Neptune’s Harvest & bone meal.

      I’ve heard that over fertilizing garlic gives it an overly strong garlic flavor – which makes sense. Usually bulbing plants don’t like too much fertilizer.

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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