I put garlic between the hostas, and lilies my mom grows, and the leaves died back, what did I do wrong?


Garlic needs to be planted in a vegetable garden not with the ornamentals. They need sun, fruphed up soil, proper chemistry and water. Such different plant needs planted together don't work well. Garlic needs to be planted in the fall...it is a root crop and depending on the temperatures, you've got to plant in the fall for harvest in the late summer early fall the next year.

A double dug bed with proper nutrients for root growth and planted in an area where the soil doesn't freeze below a few inches is critical. Ornamental beds are pretty 'used up' with nutrients, compacted and part of a little ecosystem not very amiable for vegetables unless you understand soils and fertilizers.

I plant garlic every spring because everything is frozen solid during the winter here in well prepared soil meant for garlic, onions, shallots. Shallots are impressing me big time! New plants going through freezes and hot days and back to freezing and they are also in a raised bed, like a pot! One of those fabric 'pots' and they are doing very very well. Very vigorous. My zone is 1b. Thrilled I can grow shallots. I am soon to have a completely self sufficient greenhouse where we can grow garlic, asparagus, artichokes, kiwi...tomatoes even during the winter.

  • You say garlic needs to be planted in the fall, and then say you always plant yours in spring. – Graham Chiu Jul 3 '16 at 1:03
  • Graham, I AM NOT the one who says to plant in the fall. Never once have planted garlic that way and never one have I grown a decent bulb. Lots of sources about this out there...what matters is where you live your zone. If I planted in the fall...I'd have to plant 3 feet down so the cloves wouldn't freeze. I am growing Potato Onions...shallots from a cool outfit in Colorado.I am quite impressed how tough these plants r. In a fabric 'pot', potting soil and they've been out there growing through 5 or 6 hard frosts with no damage at all. Forget garlic is my thinking! Shallots here we come! – stormy Jul 3 '16 at 1:10
  • "Garlic needs to be planted in the fall" from your accepted answer. – Graham Chiu Jul 3 '16 at 1:11
  • Yes, if the temps are correct, zone 5/6 would be minimum, garlic should be planted in the fall. – stormy Jul 3 '16 at 1:15
  • Heavens, isn't that what you are advising? It is the right way, I've just never got my stuff together to plant in the fall. Sorry. What zone are you in? – stormy Jul 3 '16 at 1:17

Based on your previous posts, I would say it's because you planted your garlic in spring, only 3 months ago, and you used store garlic that was sprouting, and not seed garlic bred to your local conditions.

Spring planted garlic is always going to be puny in comparison to winter planted garlic because it's the cold that simulates bulb formation.

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