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Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

Plant a Perennial Garlic Patch

Enjoy home-grown garlic flavor year-round by growing this crop as a perennial

Garlic greens in early fall. Photo: Nancy J. Ondra

October means garlic-planting time here in the Mid-Atlantic. Normally, growing garlic is a long-term prospect, as you won’t get to harvest the pungent bulbs until the following summer. But there’s a way you can enjoy season after season of fresh garlic flavor from just one planting: by growing it as a perennial instead of an annual crop.

There’s no big change to make from a growing perspective—just plant your hardneck garlic in October as you usually would, in a sunny, well-drained spot, with the individual cloves spaced about 3 inches apart and 2 inches deep. It’s common for fall-planted garlic to produce some leaves before winter, then stop growing during December into February. It will pick up again when the cold eases and continue to grow through early summer, when flowering stalks will appear. Normally, you’d clip off those emerging stalks to get the largest bulbs possible, then…

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