The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Planting Garlic in 2023 to Harvest in 2024

Once Vermont is well into fall frosts, it’s garlic planting time. Waiting until extended warm spells have ended ensures the garlic won’t germinate and begin growing until spring.

Flashback to midsummer: We harvested the garlic planted in 2022 and reserved hundreds of the biggest, most beautiful cloves to become seed for the 2024 crop.

Seed garlic awaits planting day.

The garlic went into a bed of six rows. Each row is wide enough to hold multiple furrows of garlic seed. Gardeners marked the furrows, added the seed a fist width’s apart, sprinkled in compost, and fluffed soil over it all.

The garlic varieties are jell strain, Moreno hillside, porcelain, and elephant. Elephant is not a true garlic, but a member of the leek family. Some digestive systems upset by garlic will accommodate elephant garlic, which is milder tasting and delicious.

Three inches of leaves cover each row. The leaves prevent winter’s snow from compacting the soil, suppress weeds in the spring, and eventually break down to feed the soil.

The first snow fell last week. While it didn’t amount to anything, it clearly marked the arrival of the cold season. More and more of the garden is getting put to bed. We’re still harvesting arugula, beets, carrots, chard, collards, herbs, kale, radishes, spinach, and turnips. The last few zucchini, protected under plastic sheeting, were harvested on garlic-planting day.