By June Zellers, West Gardiner Garden Club~

There is just a lot of information about when and how to plant garlic – and some of it is contradictory. But mid-October is a perfect time to get your garlic bed ready and plant. In fact, you can plant up until the ground starts to freeze. Years ago, I used to plant the garlic right after the MOFGA Fair, when the end of September meant that we had already had a killing frost and that most of the garden had been harvested. In recent years, I have planted as late as the end of October.

There are many factors that influence both how big garlic grows and how many cloves are produced in each bulb. Tom Vigue, an organic gardener in Sidney, explains all these fine details in his MOFGA article, “When Is the Right Time to Plant Garlic. Here’s a link to that article for those who are interested.

While reading about garlic this past week, I noticed varying advice even about how to plant. In a recent MOFGA email blast, the advice was to plant 4” deep if you were not mulching and 2” deep if you were. Several days later, Tom Atwood in his column in the Sunday paper indicated that he plants his garlic 6” deep and mulches. Not sure anyone is right or wrong here. Probably all these methods work. I’ve never had any difficulty with garlic, and I tended to plant between 4 and 6” deep and mulched heavily with straw.

At a recent Garden Club meeting, one member had planted her in September, and with our warm and wet fall, her garlic was up above the ground. Was this okay? Well, I didn’t know but another member indicated that this often happened to her when she lived farther south and that the green tips came through the winter just fine.

So, whenever you plant, seeing those green shoots emerge sometime in April is always a welcome sight.