Asked September 17, 2016, 10:39 AM EDT

If i planted my garlic to early in the season and i start to see the bulbs pop out do i leave them in the ground tilll the first frost or do i take the out or cover them up thanks for your help iam a smart gardiner

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

As you seem to have realized, its too early yet to plant garlic if you are in Anoka. So, if the cloves are just uncovered on the soil, and haven't dried out or sprouted, you should take them out. To try to salvage, store them out of light at room temp for another couple weeks in a loose plastic bag then try plant again later in the fall. If they have sprouted, you can leave them out and recover with loose soil, but your crop at harvest next year may be less that optimal.

(Remember too not to plant the entire bulb as one plant - break the bulb apart and plant the individual cloves pointed end up). If you make the mistake of planting whole bulbs or more than one clove together, it will result in malformed and fused bulbs at harvest.

"Time of planting is critical since both optimum shoot and bulb development require a cold treatment. Garlic in Minnesota should be planted in the fall - usually within one to two weeks after the first killing frost (32 degrees Fahrenheit). In northern Minnesota, planting during the third to fourth week of September is recommended, while in southern Minnesota planting around the first or second week of October is recommended. Ideally, roots should be developing and shoots should be emerging from the clove but not above the soil at the time of the first hard freeze (28 degrees Fahrenheit). Garlic shoots will emerge from the ground in late March or early April. Unless given a proper cold treatment prior to planting, garlic planted in the spring will often produce weak shoots and poorly developed bulbs. Lack of scape development in hardneck garlic and bulbing in all garlic is usually due to an inadequate cold treatment."

Here is the entire article on planting garlic in Minnesota: