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Garlic is the easiest crop one can grow and you should plant it in the fall in most regions. This is because by fall all the summer crops have been harvested and so you might even have some free space to plant the garlic!
However, it would be a good idea to remember that the garlic bed won’t be available for crop until next summer that would be the time to harvest the garlic you planted previously.
Garlic is a bulb that belongs to the Allium family which also includes onions, chives, and leeks. Garlic is not just easy to grow but is also extremely beneficial for health.
It has a long history that goes way back, in history the garlic crop was used as medicines as well as to add flavor to food.
If you are someone who already grows garlic and replanting it from your own stock then choose the garlic with the biggest heads and if you’re purchasing it then look for one that is specifically used for planting.
Let’s take a look at some types of garlic below:
Hardneck garlic has a stiff stem that comes from the center of the bulb. This type of garlic has a sharper flavor and lots of variation in the varieties.
It is also a good choice for very cold winters because they are hardier. However, this type of garlic has a shorter shelf life.
This doesn’t have a stiff central stem and you will find this type of garlic at most supermarkets.
It also has a mild flavor and won’t grow well in harsh winters so it is ideal if you grow it in an area where the weather is not too cold.
How To Plant Garlic In Colorado
There is no denying the fact that Colorado loves garlic! The winter season in Colorado helps garlic with the push that it needs to grow to be able to harvest in next spring.
So let us take a look at how to plant garlic in Colorado:
- Choose a pot that is ideal for planting your garlic. Since garlic is harvested during July find a sunny spot in your garden.
- Prepare the soil by using good compost and a balanced fertilizer. Try to do a soil test and if it indicates that your soil needs compost and fertilizer only then add these things.
- Next step you need to break the garlic bulbs into individual cloves. It would be a good idea to use larger cloves for planting.
- Set them each with a pointed tip-up.
- Plant them 15 to 24 inches apart in three or four rows.
- Now cover the bed with mulch to prevent heaving during warm and cold weather and to maintain moisture and also to suppress weeds.
- In spring move the mulch away from stems to prevent root rot.
- Water regularly and more during dry periods and only add fertilizer if there’s a need for it and when the leafy growth is around six inches tall.
When Should I Plant Garlic In Colorado?
It is a good idea to plant your garlic during winters because then it would be harvested by next spring or summer.
Planting garlic in early fall will also encourage root growth and it will also give your plant a chance to establish the roots before cold weather.
If you see any green shoots emerging then dont worry as this is perfectly normal for your plant. Its growth will start once the temperatures start to get hot in May.
Plant it in September or October in a sunny spot and give it at least six hours of sunlight every day. You might have to give your garlic light shade during the day and this will also ensure a larger garlic bulb.
Garlic also loves soil that is rich in nutrients and excellent drainage. So if your soil needs a boost of nutrients then it would be a good idea to use a bit of compost and fertilizer.
Also since Colorado has clay soil, it may be a good idea to grow your garlic on raised beds.
Garlic is harvested in late June to mid July. Once you see the leaves begin to turn yellow and there are around four or five green leaves present then it is time to harvest.
These are what will eventually turn into bulb wrapper leaves. If you see that the cloves begin to separate then the garlic might not grow well.
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What Type Of Garlic Grows Best In Colorado?
Since Colorado experiences harsh and cold winters the type of garlic that grows best in Colorado is hard neck garlic.
Since it grows best in cold climates with longer winters this type of garlic would be the best option to grow in Colorado!
Hard neck garlic has a woody stem and also has a more complicated flavor. To decide which garlic grows best in Colorado you need to be sure you know all the varieties of garlic.
Hard neck garlic produces a flower often called ‘stalk’. These tall spikes usually turn into a curly cue in spring and it is advisable to remove the flower of garlic to ensure larger garlic bulbs.
Also if your harvest the scapes use them in your food like soups or stir fry since it also has a very nice strong flavor which will give your foods a rich texture and taste.
Also, try to avoid the spread of garlic seeds since you could end up with a dozen garlic plants!
Hardneck also has thinner outer skins making it easier to peel but because of this they have a shorter shelf life and you can store it for three to four months if properly stored.
How Deep Do I Plant Garlic?
Garlic should not be planted too deep in the soil hence it is advisable to only plant it an inch or two deep in the ground.
This will ensure that the garlic takes all the nutrients from the soil. It is also a good idea to plant the largest plumpest cloves. Since the bigger the bulb you plant the bigger the bulb will be.
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Does Wild Garlic Grow In Colorado?
Yes, wild garlic does grow in Colorado throughout the year in fields and in moist areas.
They also look similar to onions and also smell like onions. It has a purple flower. They tend to grow best under forest shade and have broad green leaves.
Where Does Garlic Like To Be Planted?
Garlic loves full sun and loose soil. When planting garlic chooses a garden bed that is well-drained and receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Also, look for an area where no other allium has grown during that year.
Planting garlic in Colorado is an easy job to do due to favorable weather conditions in Colorado.
However, you plant garlic in Colorado make sure that you know that type of garlic you are planting so that you can give it the care and right conditions that they need.
Garlic does not demand too much attention from its owners and can grow pretty well without too much assistance! However, one thing that garlic loves when harvesting time comes is bright sunlight!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our article on do onions grow underground?