Garlic: Fall vs Spring Planting - FAQ

Spring planting
Advantages
  • Reduced risk of winter injury and plant survival
  • No over-wintering required
Disadvantages
  • Bulbs must be chilled to break dormancy prior to planting
  • Poor spring conditions can delay planting, resulting in delayed plant development, poor bulbing and reduced yields
  • Some storage losses can occur
Fall planting
Advantages
  • Bulb dormancy is overcome by cold winter temperatures
  • No spring-planting delays
  • Plant growth commences early in spring
  • Potential for higher yields and larger bulb sizes
Disadvantages
  • Delayed fall planting can result in reduced clove survival due to winterkill
  • Winter protection is required if snowfall is not sufficient
Tips for fall planting:
  • Planting date is determined by the average date of the first fall frost
  • Delayed planting will reduce winter survival
  • Winter protection:
    • Cover with straw if snow cover is thin, winter thaws occur or if wind protection is not adequate
    • A minimum of 6 inches (15 cm) of snow is required for winter protection


The source of the materials is http://www.agriculture.alberta.ca. The use of these materials by John Boy Farms is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by the Government of Alberta. Reliance upon John Boy Farm’s use of these materials is at the risk of the end user.


The information has been posted with the intent that it be readily available for personal and public non-commercial or educational use and without charge or further permission from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.