GROWING VEGETABLES, BERRIES & FRUIT TREES IN NORTH FLORIDA

   
 

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PLANT GARLIC BEFORE IT GETS TOO LATE
POSTED OCTOBER 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! I have many fond memories of this day and the loads of creative costumes hand-crafted by my dear mother for my brother, two sisters and me. I especially liked it when I was dressed as a vegetable – a pumpkin, of course!

I have had some success growing pumpkins in my front-yard garden in Niceville but, because of the amount of space they need, I don’t regularly grow them. It’s a challenge with the heat, humidity and pests to grow pumpkins for Halloween. I think that, in north Florida, you have more success with winter squash when you plant it in March, not August.

Now is the time to plant another Halloween vegetable, though – garlic. (Well, they say it keeps vampires away!).

Three-week old garlic growing in Niceville, Oct. 31, 2008.
Garlic pictured Oct. 31. It was planted
in my front-yard garden Oct. 10.

Garlic is generally planted in mid-October in north Florida, when the weather is beginning to cool. It grows during the cool months and is ready for harvest in late May or early June. To get fully developed bulbs, you’ll need to get your garlic planted very soon. You can harvest “green garlic,” or baby garlic, in the spring, if desired. It’s great on the grill!

A wide variety of garlic for planting is available on the Web and by mail order. Or you can just use the garlic you buy at the grocery store for the kitchen. That’s probably the best idea at this point so you can expedite your planting.

Garlic grown in Niceville in 2007. The largest cloves from the 2007 harvest were used for planting in 2008.
Garlic grown last
year in my front-yard
garden.

To plant, separate the cloves from the bulbs and plant them so the top of the clove is only one to two inches below the surface of the soil. Space four to five inches apart in rows spaced 12” apart. The bigger cloves will produce bigger bulbs.

Water well after planting. Your garlic won’t need much water during the winter but keep it well watered in the spring.

 

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