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When to Plant Garlic in US Hardiness Zone 6

When to Plant Garlic in US Hardiness Zone 6

For success, plants need to be planted at the right time. Knowing your US hardiness zone can aid your endeavors in your garden.

Garlic is a hardy perennial that can withstand the cold winters of Zone 6 and has two general categories and many varieties. Whichever variety you choose to grow, planting garlic bulbs in the fall will yield larger bulbs with superior flavor.

Used for both medicinal and culinary purposes, garlic has been part of human culture for millennia. This familiarity with healers, chefs, and gardeners, has led to many varieties of garlic being developed.

If you are interested in growing Garlic, read on to learn when to plant Garlic in US Hardiness Zone 6.


When to Plant Garlic in US Hardiness Zone 6

In US Hardiness Zone 6, your Garlic will do best if you plant it in the middle to late October. Another good measure is to plant garlic 4-6 weeks before the first typical frost in your area. US Hardiness Zone 6 has sections ‘a’ and ‘b’, and garlic should be planted in October for both zones. 


Types of Garlic

There are two distinct types of garlic. Softneck garlic does not have a central stalk that flowers, like hardneck Garlic.

Instead, its stalk is leaves that shoot forth from its center, and it grows multiple, unevenly spaced cloves around the center of the bulb.

Hardneck garlic has a center stalk called a ‘scape’ that will grow bulbuls as they grow.

Once hard neck garlic produces its scape, you should cut it back before it fully blooms with bulbils, which are tiny bulbs. By doing so, the energy of the plant’s growth will go into the bulb instead of the production of seed, which is really what bulbils are.

Hardneck varieties of Garlic do better in cooler climates than softneck Garlic, as they are hardier plants. When choosing garlic to grow in Zone 6, be sure to find a variety suitable for the area you are in.


Varieties of Garlic

There are several varieties of softneck and hardneck garlic. You can easily different varieties a year until you find the flavor profile you want.

Or you may find that you like one variety for your favorite spaghetti sauce and another for shrimp scampi. Growing Garlic is not expensive, so trying different varieties will give you enough Garlic for now and later.

For the best success when growing Garlic in US Hardiness Zone 6, plant a hardneck variety of Garlic.

Some popular hardneck Garlic varieties include German Red, Carpathian, Spanish Roja, Rocambole, and Continental. All of these are a little hot, a little spicy, and easy to peel.

If you would like to try softneck garlic varieties, then look for Silverskin, Chef’s Italian Garlic, Artichoke, California Early garlic, and Mild French.

Softneck garlic has a milder flavor than its hardneck cousin has and produces smaller cloves.


Where to Plant Garlic in Zone 6

Both types of garlic prefer well-drained soil rich in organic matter. If the area you want to use for your garlic does not drain well, creating mounds or growing it in raised beds is suitable.

The pH of the soil for garlic needs to be between 6.0 and 8.0, which tends to be on the alkaline side. Commercial 10-10-10 fertilizer is suitable and will have enough nitrogen and phosphorus for your garlic.

Choose dry clean bulbs and break them into separate cloves. Next, pick a sunny spot in your yard or garden that gets six to eight hours of sun per day.

Plant each clove in your prepared soil 2-3 inches deep and about 6 inches away from each other. Cover the planted bulbs with three to four inches of mulch.

After planting your bulbs, water them in, then keep them lightly watered during the winter. Once the weather begins to warm, water your garlic a few times each week.


Harvesting Garlic

The typical time to harvest garlic is between mid-may to late July. When will depend on where you live in US Hardiness Zone 6.

You’ll know when to begin harvesting as the plant’s lower leaves will begin to get brown. At this time, you can quit watering your plants, which will help them dry out a bit before you dig them up.

To harvest the bulbs, carefully lift them from the ground with a spade or potato fork. Then, shake the dirt from the bulbs and hang them to dry or spread them out on a drying screen.

In four to six weeks, your newly harvested garlic will be ready to add to your favorite recipe.


Frequently Asked Questions about When to Plant Garlic in US Hardiness Zone 6


How many garlic seeds will I need to plant?

The average clove count per pound of garlic is approximately 40 to 80, depending on whether it is hardneck or softneck garlic. So, if you only want Garlic for yourself and a few friends, you only need to plant a few seeds.