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Spring Garlic Recommendations

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

April 2, 2012

Spring Garlic Recommendations
The warm (hot) weather we have seen is pushing soil temperatures up and really moving the garlic along. We are well over a month ahead of last year. This means that fertilizing needs to start significantly earlier as well. Your first application of nitrogen should occur shortly after plant emergence, and certainly by the time plants are six inches tall. Rates and additional application timing is included in the table below. Ideally, before planting, you used a soil test to amend your phosphorus and potassium levels. Even if you didn't, the nitrogen recommendations provided are still accurate. Remember to adjust for leguminous cover crops, which supply some slower-released nitrogen. See Table 1 for more information.

Weed control: Once weeds are allowed to establish in a garlic field, garlic is virtually unable to compete for water, nutrients and light. The key to weed control is to take care of weeds early. There are a few chemical controls available (Table 1). Clean, weed-free mulch is often applied in the fall after the ground freezes and may be left on through the growing season. This will suppress germination of annual weeds. Perennial weeds should be controlled physically or chemically prior to planting in the fall, because they are nearly impossible to control during the growing season. Surface cultivation between rows to control seedlings is effective, but in-row mechanical cultivation is quite disruptive. Flame weeding of seedlings between rows is also effective if no hay mulch is being used. -CLS





Garlic Fertility Table 1 (pdf; 184KB)

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