How and Why Should You Soak Garlic Before Planting?
Garlic (Allium sativa) grows differently in your home garden than most other plants. Garlic is usually planted in the fall rather than the spring, as is the case with most other herbs and vegetables.
Read Also: HOW TO PREPARE THE SOIL FOR GROWING GARLIC
SHOULD I SOAK GARLIC BEFORE PLANTING?
Regardless of these distinctions, soaking your seed before planting is a procedure that can also be used with garlic. It’s just done in a different way and for different purposes.
Yeast infections, nematodes, and white curl mites can be eliminated by soaking garlic (Allium sativum) plant cloves in baking soda and seaweed, followed by alcohol and then hot water.
Taking the papery covers off the cloves as an extra precaution may help to eradicate any infections they may contain.
Or a combination of the two? Whatever the case may be, you must, I repeat, must, commit to growing garlic.
When you see those green shoots springing up next spring, when everything else is barren and ready to be planted, you’ll be glad you did. It’s quite satisfying. And it’s fantastic.
Check out this list of garlic farmers to find a farm near you that sells the certified stock. Ordering garlic from someone in a comparable climate will help you figure out which varieties to plant in your own garden.
But, before you rush out the door and plant those cloves, take a moment to think about crop insurance.
BASICS OF GARLIC CLOVES
Rather than using store-bought garlic bulbs that have been treated to prevent sprouting, it is preferable to purchase garlic seed bulbs from a garden supply center.
Although disease-free garlic seed bulbs are frequently certified, you have no way of knowing their past, and soaking them yourself is an added precaution.
Garlic can be grown as an annual in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. If you plant garlic bulbs in the fall for a late-spring or summer harvest, they will be larger and fatter.
Six to eight weeks before the first harsh autumn freeze, plant garlic. Plant them in February or March if you live somewhere with moderate winters.
Softneck types, such as the ones you’ll find at the grocery store, favor milder winters. Milder hardneck types produce larger cloves and thrive in colder climates.
What is the purpose of garlic soaking, and why should we do it?
Soaking your garlic cloves in a mix of water, organic fish fertilizer, and baking soda acts as a kind of vaccine for the different fungal illnesses that can harm garlic.
It also gives them a surge of energy to help them get started on the development process.
This is followed by a soak in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which sterilizes the cloves and kills any mites that may be hiding—dirty little animals that can lay their eggs, survive the winter, and wreak havoc on your prized plants the following spring.
Introducing such toxins to your land could have a long-term, possibly decades-long impact.
Soaking before planting is a reliable strategy to give your garden a head start with many types of seeds, especially those that are sluggish to sprout.
Most seeds are encased in a strong seed coat that is relatively moisture resistant. This stops them from sprouting early while the weather is still frigid in nature.
Soaking them in lukewarm water simulates the rush of spring rain, allowing moisture to soak through the seed coat and into the seed.
It causes the seed to grow and send out shoots once it reaches its destination. Scraping or sanding the seed coat weakens it in some seeds with extra-tough seed coats, such as sweet peas or nasturtiums.
Garlic is exempt from these constraints because it grows from bulbs and hence lacks a seed coat. Garlic is soaked instead for two reasons. One is sanitary, as it protects the bulbs from pests or diseases that could otherwise jeopardize the harvest.
The other is to give the bulbs a “boost” of nutrients right before planting to help them grow quickly and vigorously.
SOAKING GARLIC IN WATER
First and foremost, congratulations if you’ve never done this before and have had excellent results with your garlic. I’ve done the same.
However, being a successful gardener necessitates keeping an open mind to new ideas, even if we’ve always done things a certain way.
And today’s suggestion is something that won’t hurt, but might surely help—and possibly even prevent a major calamity.
Soaking Garlic In Water Help To Get Rid Of Fungal Infections
White rot, Botrytis, Fusarium, and smut are just a few of the fungal diseases that can affect garlic.
Soak newly planted garlic cloves overnight in a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon liquid seaweed in 1 gallon of water to prevent the development of fungal illnesses. The fungi are killed by the baking soda. Roots are encouraged to grow by the liquid seaweed.
Cloves that have been soaked for more than 16 to 18 hours will begin to sprout roots. Planting cloves with sprouting roots will cause the roots to snap, exposing the cloves to disease.
Soaking Garlic in Water Kills Nematode
Small worms that live in the soil are known as nematodes. As nematodes come and go, they leave tiny pimple-like holes in garlic cloves.
Soak garlic cloves for 10 to 12 minutes in water between 110 and 112 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any nematodes that may be present before planting. The nematodes will be killed, but the cloves will still be okay to plant.
Mites Are Killed by Soaking Water.
White curl mites can be identified by opening a soft garlic bulb that seems to have dried up and finding a powdery white residue inside the cloves. With a microscope, you can see the mites crawling around in the powder.
If you sow white curl mite-infected garlic cloves, the plant will become stunted and twisted, with yellow streaks on the leaves. Soak garlic cloves in alcohol for a few minutes before planting to kill white curl mites that may have infested them.
GARLIC SOAKING FOR PREVENTION
Soaking garlic to protect it from pests and disease is a common practice among commercial producers, particularly organic ones, and it’s also tempting to amateur gardeners who want to avoid using fungicides and insecticides.
You can use a variety of ways (and drugs) to achieve this:
Warm water: To protect against bulb mites, the University of Delaware recommends soaking your seed in water heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 20 minutes, though this can reduce germination rates.
Pam Dawling, an author and organic farmer, recommends soaking for 30 minutes at 100 degrees with a small amount of soap instead (not detergent).
Keene Organics, a commercial grower, recommends sterilizing your cloves by soaking them in alcohol for 10 minutes.
This procedure works against both diseases and mites, and you can use either rubbing alcohol at a concentration of 50 to 70 percent or a cheap vodka for it.
Hydrogen peroxide: Your medicine cabinet’s hydrogen peroxide will work just as well as alcohol and will likewise require a 10-minute soak.
Because peroxide (unlike alcohol) is fume-free and non-flammable, it may be preferable if you work in a small shed or greenhouse or near open fires.
Baking soda: GroEat Farm, a garlic grower and seed seller, employs baking soda to lessen the danger of bacterial infections. In a gallon of warm water, one tablespoon of baking soda elevates the pH and greatly lowers bacterial populations.
This can be a stand-alone soak or one that is mixed with liquid fertilizer for a second soak.
GARLIC SOAKING TO PROMOTE GROWTH
Because garlic is often planted in the fall for harvest in the early summer, it’s critical that your newly planted cloves develop strong roots before the cold winter hits.
Soaking your seed cloves in a diluted fertilizer solution encourages root growth. The fertilizer soak should follow a warm-water treatment, but it can happen before or after a peroxide or alcohol soak.
Use 1 gallon of warm water and your choice of fertilizers for every 30 to 40 cloves (a reasonable-sized “garlic patch” for a small garden), either a commercial fertilizer diluted as suggested in its instructions or – if you prefer organic options – a spoonful of fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizer.
You may also use a spoonful of baking soda to boost the antibacterial properties of this mixture.
Soak the cloves for at least eight hours, and up to 24 hours, but 12 to 16 hours is best. As the bulbs soak, they will begin to sprout roots, and lengthier soaks increase the danger of breaking the roots when you plant them. This slows growth and lowers yields.
HOW DO YOU SOAK GARLIC IN WATER?
what is the best way to soak garlic in water?
It’s quite straightforward. Separate the garlic cloves but do not peel them. Combine the following ingredients in a large stock pot or bucket:
- 1-quart lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp. fish fertilizer (organic)
- 1 tbsp. baking soda
Soak the garlic cloves for at least 15 minutes and up to several hours, but no longer than 16 hours. Drain.
Then, in a container (I used quart-size canning jars), cover your garlic with either 70% isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or even vodka. Drain after 20 minutes of soaking.
Within 1 hour of the second soak, plant. (**If you’re planting many types of garlic, make sure you label them and soak them individually so they don’t get mixed up!)
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PLANT SOAKING GARLIC?
I prefer to add plenty of manure and compost to my beds, which I mix in by hand with the soil, loosening it down to approximately 6 inches.
Then I take a metal rake and drag it down the length of my bed to make a few-inch-deep row.
Plant the cloves 6 inches apart, pointed side up, and cover with a couple of inches of dirt. Then, for colder climates, cover with a thick layer of mulch, such as straw, hay, or leaves, to a depth of about 4′′.
You’re all prepared for a successful garlic season next year. Preparation is the best defense…and you’ve done an excellent job at it.
Now get out there and plant your first garlic clove! Also, remember to look after yourself.
SOAKING GARLIC IN WATER TIPS
Leave your seed garlic bulbs whole until just a few days before planting, then split them apart into separate bulbs to plant.
Sort the garlic cloves into three categories: large cloves for planting, small cloves for harvesting as “garlic scallions” or spring garlic, and damaged cloves to be destroyed or assigned to the kitchen.
Your garlic will grow in any case, whether the paper-like wrapper comes off or not.
According to the University of Minnesota, garlic needs at least a couple of weeks to start growing and putting down roots before the first killing frost, so look up your estimated frost date and plan your planting accordingly.
Before planting, add fertilizer or well-aged compost. If you live in a cold region, you can protect the shoots by covering them with a loose mulch such as straw once the ground freezes.
Plant the moistened bulbs with the flattened (root) side down and the pointy (sprout) side up. The depth of the root end should be 2 to 3 inches.
Plant them in single or double rows, with 6 inches between bulbs and 30 inches between rows to allow for walking and cultivating in the spring (or inter-crop with fast-growing spring plants).
Once the sprouts appear in the spring, top-dress with fertilizer, but don’t fertilize after mid-spring, or the plants will promote top growth at the price of bulb size.
HOW LONG SHOULD GARLIC CLOVES BE SOAKED BEFORE PLANTING?
Others may also ask Soak the cloves for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. We have left them in the fertilizing soak for up to three days when we start our soak and are unable to plant in the morning.
HOW LONG DO YOU SOAK GARLIC BEFORE PLANTING?
For at least 30 minutes up to overnight, the cloves should soak. We have left them in the fertilizing soak for up to three days because, on a number of occasions, we start our soak but are unable to plant in the morning.
They could grow very fragile bottom roots after three days, and you don’t want them to break off when you plant them.
ADVICE FOR PLANTING AND SOAKING
Only a few days prior to planting, break your seed garlic bulbs into individual bulbs. After that, plant them as-is. Sort them into large cloves for planting, small cloves for “garlic scallions” or spring harvesting, damaged cloves to be thrown away or consigned to the kitchen, and small cloves for the kitchen. Garlic will grow regardless of whether the paper-like wrapping comes off.
According to the University of Minnesota, your garlic requires at least a couple of weeks to start growing and setting down roots before the first lethal frost, so look up your anticipated frost date and plan your planting appropriately. Before planting, add fertilizer or well-aged compost.
If you reside in a cold climate, you can protect the shoots once the ground freezes by covering them with a loose mulch, such as straw.
The flattened (root) side of the wet bulbs should be facing down, and the pointy (sprout) side should be up. 2 to 3 inches should be drilled into the root end. In order to be able to walk and cultivate between them in the spring, plant them in single or double rows with a spacing of 30 inches between rows and 6 inches between the bulbs (or inter-crop with fast-growing spring plants).
Once the spring sprouts appear, top-dress with fertilizer; however, do not fertilize after mid-spring as this will cause the plants to create top growth at the expense of bulb size.
TO SUM UP
Garlic (Allium sativa) grows differently in your home garden than most other plants. Garlic is usually planted in the fall rather than the spring as is the case with most other herbs and vegetables.
soaking garlic before planting is a procedure that can also be used with garlic. Garlic can be grown as annuals in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. Plant garlic bulbs six to eight weeks before the first harsh autumn freeze.
Garlic soaking is a dependable strategy to give your garden a head start with many types of seed. Soak garlic cloves overnight to kill nematodes and give the bulbs a “boost” of nutrients.
Before planting, soak cloves in alcohol to kill mites that may have infested them. Garlic is often planted in the fall for harvest in the early summer. Soaking your seed cloves in a diluted fertilizer solution encourages root growth.
As the bulbs soak, they will begin to sprout roots, and lengthier soaks increase the danger of breaking the roots. Soak garlic cloves for at least 30 minutes before planting. Plant cloves 6 inches apart, pointed side up, and cover with a couple of inches of dirt.
Cover with a thick layer of mulch, such as straw or hay, to a depth of about 4′. Garlic needs at least a couple of weeks to start growing and putting down roots before the first killing frost.
Plant them in single or double rows, with 6 inches between bulbs and 30 inches between rows for walking and cultivating in the spring (or inter-crop with fast-growing spring plants).
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