Growing garlic in Florida is possible since Florida’s sub-tropical weather with mild winters and hot, sunny summers offers it the perfect climate.
If you’re planning to grow garlic in Florida, this article is a must-read. We have collected the necessary information, steps, and instructions you need to do so. Want to know how? Keep on reading to find out more!
- Is Growing Garlic In Florida A Possibility?
Is Growing Garlic In Florida A Possibility?
Yes, garlic can be grown in Florida if done the right way. The process can be divided into three parts: planting, caring, and harvesting.
If you perfectly execute these three, you’ll get the most perfect, aromatic, and tasty garlic. Many people actually claim that Florida might be the ideal place to grow garlic.
– The Correct Variety
Keep in mind that growing garlic in Florida is only possible if you choose soft neck garlic; otherwise, they won’t grow out to their maximum potential. The weather and environment of Florida are well-suited for soft-neck garlic. Your soft-neck garlic won’t just grow in Florida; they’ll thrive! And it doesn’t even require as much care as hard-neck garlic!
The main difference between these garlic types is that the hard-neck garlic consists of a stalk at the center of the bulb, which turns rigid when the plant is mature enough. Soft-neck garlic doesn’t have a stalk at the center but has leaves, and it remains soft even when matured.
The best varieties of soft-neck garlic that we’ll recommend for all Florida gardeners are:
- Lorz Italian
- Georgian Crystal
You can purchase soft-neck garlic heads from your nearby nursery. Also, one clove is enough to grow one plant!
– The Perfect Time
Early winter makes it possible to plant garlic in Florida. November and December are the ideal months for planting garlic in Florida. If planted at this time, you should get a harvest around May or June.
Just keep the following things in mind:
- If you plant the garlic in fall, it’ll stay dormant during spring and will start growing again in spring.
- You can also plant the garlic in February or March, but November and December will give a fuller harvest.
– The Ideal Spot
In Florida, a somewhat shaded spot is ideal for your garlic plants to thrive. You have to make sure to choose a spot with a cool soil temperature, which can be guaranteed if it’s in a partially shaded spot. Choose a place that is shaded, even when the day is at its hottest.
Remember that if the soil temperature is higher than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your garlic won’t grow well. And if you can’t find a spot with natural shade, you can always opt for artificial shades, such as a shade cloth.
If you’re able to find a place in Florida that ticks all these boxes, your chances of getting the perfect garlic have just risen.
– The Correct Soil
Do you know something that can make your planting an impossibility? Flooded soil. So how to avoid that flooded soil? By using well-draining soil. If you are not able to find well-draining soil, add mulch to the soil in your garden. That will do that trick.
Florida is one of the dampest states in the nation, and garlic can only be grown in Florida if the gardener makes sure that the soil isn’t too wet. It’s possible to grow garlic in Florida if you’re vigilant and don’t let the soil flood.
Like any other living creature, your garlic plant will also need nutrients and nourishments. So make sure that before planting the garlic, your soil is well-fertilized. A nitrogen-rich soil will yield the perfect result.
Garlic does not produce seeds that can be dug into the soil. So, instead, we use a garlic clove.
Place it in the soil, roots facing downwards, at a depth of four or six inches, and then fill the hole with well-draining soil. Sprinkle the water until the soil is moist. Make sure to keep a distance of four to six inches between each plant to give it enough space to grow and spread its roots.
Garlic needs to be planted with care and affection no matter how perfect the weather and environmental conditions are. The same goes for Florida. If you’re careful about the planting process, getting healthy and tasty garlic cloves is a real possibility.
– Care Techniques
No plant can grow without proper care and grooming. The same is the case for a garlic plant. The following care tips must be followed for growing garlic in the south:
- Watering garlic once a week is very important. One centimeter of water a week is necessary for garlic. In the summer months, you’ll have to be vigilant. Dig your finger in the soil to check whether it is dry or not. If it is dry, water it.
- Twice every month, spray the soil with any liquid nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen will help produce an excellent harvest. Keep an eye out for any yellow and brown leaves, as they might mean that your plant has a nitrogen deficiency.
- The scape is an unnecessary part of the garlic plant. You can cut it off to help the plant direct its energy towards the growth of the garlic heads.
- Prevent excessive weed growth by weeding the area around the garlic plant at least once every month.
That is it! If you follow all these care tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get the prettiest and healthiest garlic cloves right from your backyard in Florida.
– Harvesting and Curing
A garlic plant should take around six to eight months to be ready for harvest. When your garlic leaves have bent and dried, that’s when you know that your plant is all grown up. As soon as you’ve hit the six-month mark, start to keep an eye out for the leaves drying up. Who knew growing garlic in Florida could be this easy, right?
Once the garlic is dried, you can now remove the stalks, and they will remain fresh for three to six months if kept at room temperature.
Many people make the mistake of placing the garlic in an airtight container, but that is the wrong choice. In airtight containers, moisture gets trapped and might cause the garlic to rot and mold.
– How Long Does Garlic Take To Grow in Florida?
In southern states, like Florida, garlic takes about six to eight months to grow. If you planted your garlic in late fall or early winter, you’ll be able to get the harvest in the summer months, either May, June, or July.
And if you’re planting it in the spring months, you’ll get the harvest in the fall or early winter, either August, September, or October.
As soon as it’s been six months since planting, start to check for bent leaves on a regular basis. When half of the leaves are dried and bent, your plant is ready for harvest.
– What Kind of Garlic Grows in Florida?
Soft-neck garlic is the best choice for any garden in Florida. This is the garlic you’ll find in most of your local grocery stores.
The bulb has a mild flavor and does well in storage. That is why it is many gardeners’ first choice. This garlic is given its name because it has a soft neck, which you can cut up with ease. This makes braiding the necks easier as well.
– What Month Do You Plant Garlic in Florida?
You can plant garlic in fall or spring, but in Florida, we’d recommend planting it during the winter season.
November and December are ideal months when the soil is cool, and there isn’t a full sun. As Florida has a southern climate, there is very little frost, and without the threat of frost, your plant will flourish.
– How Do You Plant Garlic Bulbs in Florida?
- Dig a hole that is 10 to 15 cm deep and place a garlic clove (roots side down) in the hole.
- Fill the hole with well-draining soil.
- Add a sprinkle of water until the soil is moist.
- Harvest in six to eight months.
To wrap up, it is actually possible to grow garlic in Florida, but you need to keep the following points in mind to do so:
- Plant your soft-neck garlic in a shaded spot with nitrogen-rich, well-draining soil in November or December
- Water your garlic once a week, fertilize it twice a month, cut back your plant’s scape, remove excessive weed, and add mulch
- The garlic is ready for harvest when the leaves start to dry and bend.
- Trim the roots, let the garlic cure by hanging it on a rack, and store them in a dry and cool place
Now that you know all this, why are you still sitting here? Get up and plant your garlic cloves, so in six to eight months you get to enjoy fresh and delicious garlic from your backyard.