The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How much garlic should I plant?

Garlic planting

How much garlic do we plant to feed the two of us all year? Now that we've entirely converted over to huge, hardneck Music heads, we get by with 96 plants. About 15 of those are our "seed" garlic, which I split up to plant at this time of year (rejecting the smallest cloves). The other 81 heads of garlic feed us well and also act as an occasional dewormer for our goat herd. We give a little bit away, too, and always have a few extra heads when the time comes to pull in next year's harvest in June.

On the other hand, if I were like my brother, who mentally translates "clove of garlic" into "head of garlic" in all recipes, I'd have to plant a lot more. But for more normal eaters, I'd say 40 heads of garlic a year per person is a pretty good amount.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I don't remember how much garlic I planted this year but I do know that I got about 96 heads back. Unfortunately, I harvested too late and although a lot of the garlic was good, a lot was already rotting. :( Also, I found that where I am (at 36 degrees, 13 minutes, 20 seconds latitude) hard neck garlic does not do well at all so I've stuck with softneck. Next year I'll harvest them earlier!
Comment by NaYan Wed Oct 7 09:41:40 2015
I plant about double that much. But in addition to the main season garlic, I plant about the same amount at a tighter planting (6" x 6" instead of 12" x 12") for green garlic. I start using green garlic in the spring for certain applications late March through May. The heads are a lot smaller, and milder, so I use them in very different ways.
Comment by Charity Thu Oct 8 00:25:54 2015
Glad to hear I'm not the only one who habitually makes the clove-to-head translation. :-)
Comment by Jake Thu Oct 8 02:12:25 2015

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