Michigan’s cool climate complements well garlic’s cold-hardy nature. Because of their ability to adapt and thrive in cold temperatures, many gardeners in the state love planting them.
However, it is essential to know when to plant garlic in Michigan at the proper time since there are some risks they may face when you grow them too early or late in the season.
To avoid these threats and help them produce healthy yields, sow them in October when the temperature is between 32-50 °F. Read further to learn more about this.
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Best Time to Plant Garlic in Michigan
1. Plant garlic bulbs around October.
Whether you plant them in pots or straight on the ground, the optimum period for growing garlic in Michigan is in the fall, around October.
To be more specific, aim to start planting around 6 weeks before the frost covers the ground. However, don’t sow garlic seeds too early; otherwise, they will sprout tender tops that might be susceptible to the biting winter frost.
This time of year gives them plenty of time to grow and establish a healthy root system before the ground freezes, making fall planting in Michigan ideal. Once the garlic tops have gotten larger, they can tolerate freezing temperatures as low as -30℉.
As garlic requires 8-9 months to completely mature, you can expect to harvest them in July or perhaps later in August in Michigan for high-quality crops.
2. Plant garlic in Michigan spring.
You can also plant them in the spring 6 weeks before the last frost date as an alternative. However, sowing them around this period will cause undesirable crop sizes because the plants require two months of cool temperatures for proper growth.
But if you insist on planting seed garlic during this time, give extra care in the summer once they go through this period. Hydrate them often since they are susceptible to extremely high heat.
While the yield may not be as impressive as the fall crops, seeds sown in spring are best for people who prefer green onion. They also take less time to grow, ranging from 2-4 months. So for these crops, you can harvest garlic in Michigan starting from the end of May.
3. Grow garlic in Michigan once the temperature is between 32-50°F.
On average, garlic thrives well when conditions are continuously between 32-50°F. If you’re confident the temperatures in your regions will stay within this range for two months, prepare to sow your garlic.
Following the planting guide for these bulbs is essential because planting them too early while temperatures are unideal will hinder root and proper bulb growth. In contrast, planting them too late won’t give roots the necessary time to establish and withstand cold climates.
So if you intend to grow garlic to sell commercially or for home recipe use, sow them in the proper climate.
How late can I plant garlic in Michigan?
For autumn planting, aim to grow garlic 6 weeks before the ground freezes. Any later than that, and your plant may still be too vulnerable to the cold weather. For Michigan, this timeframe is mid to late October – the latest you can sow garlic.
As for spring planting, you can plant garlic as late as March or April, provided that there are six weeks before the last frost date. For instance, May 16 is the last frost date in northern Michigan, making April 4 the latest date you can sow garlic.
What’s the best garlic to grow in Michigan?
If you intend to buy garlic bulbs for planting in Michigan, choose the hardneck varieties to grow. This cultivar is more adaptable to regions with temperatures. In contrast, softneck are better for growing in greenhouse, where you can control the temperatures, or in warmer regions.
Two notable hardneck varieties you can grow in Michigan are German White and Music. If you prefer softneck cultivars, the best option would be Polish Softneck.
Does garlic grow well in Michigan?
Yes. Garlic can grow well in Michigan’s climate as long as you plant them at the proper time when the weather is favorable.
Also, with the help of choosing hardneck varieties, it will make garlic planting more successful in Michigan’s cold climate.
See more of the most popular vegetables that be planted in Michigan, click these posts to know the best time:
- Best time to plant potatoes in Michigan
- The most suitable time to plant tomatoes in Michigan
- Planting a vegetable garden in Michigan – Everything you need to know
The important thing about planting garlic is to sow them while temperatures are cold to satisfy their chilling period requirements. So regardless of whether you plant them in fall or spring, they will produce yields by summer.
In general, if you are eager to harvest excellent-quality crops, sow them in October. But if you want to grow them later in the year and settle for small-sized yields, opt for spring planting.
Hopefully, this post has enlightened you about when to plant garlic in Michigan, and I hope you will grow plenty of robust crops once harvest time comes!