I Forgot to Plant Garlic! Planting Winter Garlic This Year!

Today, y’all get to hear about how I’m planting winter garlic, quite unintentionally.  This past summer, I ordered my garlic from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds.  I ordered a hard neck sampler which included Metechi, Armenian, Chesnok Red, and Music garlic.

I have a whole list of excuses as to why I didn’t plant my garlic before winter.

At the time the garlic came in,

  1. I was in full canning mode with apples and tomatoes.
  2. We went on vacation.
  3. I took another trip.
  4. We were getting into the holidays and I started crafting up a storm.
  5. Then I forgot.

Actually, I would say that I kept forgetting throughout the last 3 months and now here we are, January 10th in the dead of winter.


I have been scoping out the weather for the past month or so, hoping for the perfect window to get the garlic in the ground.

We’re super fortunate to be in such a mild area in western South Dakota. Throughout the winter we get many days that are well above freezing, which is so completely unlike the North Dakota weather I grew up with.

We get cold snaps here as well and just last week we had multiple days in a row that it was below 0 degrees F.

But here is our forecast from today…

Not great, but not too shabby either right?  Perfect for planting winter garlic?  We shall see!

Regardless, I decided today was the most opportune time to try to get that garlic in the ground.

When I took my bulbs apart, I noticed that some of the garlic had softened. Even with all these barriers, I figured what can it hurt to try to plant these babies.

I set to work on this patch of ground.

Now mind you, we’ve had milder weather the past few days but the ground a couple of inches down was still frozen.

To prep and soften the ground, I watered the area pretty well.  After I planted the garlic, I covered the ground with quite a bit of leaves and watered those down as well.  I’m undecided on whether I should mulch with straw or place some of my greenhouse vinyl over top to hopefully help these babies shoot up.

In summary…

  • I did everything wrong.
  • I have no idea if this will work.
  • I’m not going to stress about it.
  • This is one big fat experiment.

If I start to see signs of life or I end up with garlic shooting up this spring, I will update you all for sure!

Have any of you ever had experience planting winter garlic?  Or have you ever broken some other big gardening rule and it worked out in your favor?  Would love to hear from those of you who overcame a “rule” and were rewarded!



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