Preparation and proper planting time are the key to success when growing vegetables, especially garlic, because of its need for cooler temperatures to develop healthy bulbs by summer.
The good thing about living in Oregon is it has chilly winters that meet garlic’s cold stratification requirements.
For this reason, knowing when to plant garlic in Oregon is necessary. Plant them in October in the fall, 6-8 weeks before the first frost date, for proper growth and successful harvesting.
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Best Time to Plant Garlic in Oregon
1. What month to plant garlic in Oregon?
Garlic is a cool-season crop that does best in the cold. However, it needs the proper climate to establish a strong root system before the freezing temperature comes for optimum development.
Therefore, the garlic planting season starts in September and extends in November. For instance, the best time to plant garlic in Portland Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest, is on the first day of October through the middle of the month.
This will give them the time to develop roots but limit the growth of foliage, which is susceptible to hard frost. Growing garlic in Oregon around this window will encourage their bulbs to develop into massive sizes.
2. What time of year to grow garlic?
Fall is a good time to plant garlic in Oregon. Once they have developed ideal roots, your crop will now be prepared to undergo the cold period they require.
These cloves need a low temperature of at least 40˚F lasting up to 8 weeks, which is essential for waking them up from inactivity to produce bulbs as soon as the climate warms up in spring.
Therefore, it will be helpful for your garlic if you plant it in the fall to set up its roots and expose the plant to winter temperatures later for its ideal growth.
3. What is the planting time in different areas of Oregon?
Oregon is an enormous place that occupies USDA zones 4b through 9b. For this reason, planting time will differ according to where you live.
Growing garlic for at least six to eight weeks before the first frost is optimum for colder regions. Therefore, if you live in a zone where winter gets too frosty, counting back at least six weeks from your first freeze is essential.
Here is a list of Oregon’s first frost dates:
- Zone 4: September 21 to October 7
- Zone 5: October 13 to 21
- Zone 6: October 17 to 31
- Zone 7: October 29 to November 15
- Zone 8: November 7 to 28
- Zone 9: November 25 to December 13
For example, if you live in zone 6a of Jackson County in Southern Oregon, you should plant garlic on September 5th at the earliest. That is the 6th week away from the average first frost on October 17th.
Best Garlic Varieties to Plant in Oregon
Softneck varieties are best for planting if you want bulbs that can store well for up to 12 months.
Some of the popular softneck garlic bulbs for planting are silverskin and artichoke. The former can produce up to 24 cloves and have a strong flavor, while the latter can produce up to 20 cloves with a milder taste.
However, if you prefer massive garlic cloves and tasty flavors, the hardneck garlic for planting, like the Porcelain variety, is one of the best choices.
This type is strong-tasting and can produce up to 6 huge cloves. You can harvest garlic like it around the last week of June through the first week of July.
You can also plant elephant garlic if you want something peculiar. It is associated with leeks, but the great thing about it is its high-yield rates and plenty of cloves per bulb.
Tips for Caring for and Harvesting Garlic in Oregon
After knowing what garlic to grow in Pacific Northwest and other areas in Oregon, learning how to care for and harvest this plant is necessary. Follow these tips for your crop to thrive.
- Properly feed your garlic with fertilizer. Take note that the garlic fertilizer schedule is during the first week of spring, and products focused on nitrogen are preferable.
- The recommended dose of fertilizer for garlic before planting is a 5-10-10.
- If summer is approaching, and the environment is too hot, water the soil every eight days and lessen irrigation once harvest time is coming.
- To harvest garlic, break the soil using a trowel 6 inches away from the plant to protect them from any scratch when pulling them out.
- Cure the harvested bulbs in a dry location for a couple of days. If you find the dirt annoying, wipe them off and avoid washing to prevent the bulbs from developing any diseases.
How to Plant Garlic?
- Use a good organic fertilizer for garlic, like a synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. But you can also make your own homemade fertilizer by using compost.
- Sow each clove at least 4 inches away from another. If you are curious how deep to plant garlic, 2 inches are ideal.
- If planting in rows, allow for at least 10 inches of space between those rows.
How long does garlic take to grow?
Garlic has a long growing period that would take up to 8 months. For this reason, planting them in the fall is ideal for achieving a summer harvest.
Can I still plant garlic in January in Oregon?
Unlike in California, where people can still grow garlic in January, that month is not actually an ideal time for planting if you missed the opportunity to sow fall cloves in Oregon.
However, planting in February and March will give you another chance to grow garlic. Unfortunately, the downside of planting around this time is that the bulbs will not be as massive as those grown in autumn.
What is the best fertilizer when planting garlic?
Aside from products that mainly provide nitrogen, you can also use blood meal or chicken manure to fertilize garlic when planting.
After all that has been said, we can conclude that garlic is a great crop to plant in Oregon. Aside from its easy-to-grow characteristic, there are also plenty of varieties to choose from for both softneck and hardneck varieties.
Remember to plant them around October in the fall for proper planting time. But for a more accurate growing date, sow cloves at least six weeks before your freeze period begins.
After knowing when to plant garlic in Oregon, feed the crop with fertilizer and water it well. With these measures, you will harvest ideal bulbs in the summer.
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