I’m wondering if it is alright to grow garlic in my raised beds. I live in Wisconsin where the lows can get to -15 here by Lake Michigan. That is extreme, but possible. After reading Margaret’s post on growing garlic, I’m wondering if the bulbs will freeze in my raised beds and then just rot, or if they will be alright. This will be my first year for growing garlic. thanks!
I (Margaret) grow mine in raised beds here in Zone 5, where I can get to similar temps as you can (and do).
My beds are maybe 8 inches above ground (they are taller, like 10 inches of wood, but not brimming with soil).
I would highly recommend choosing a HARDNECK variety as your basic crop, since hardnecks (which will also give you the benefit in May or June or garlic scapes to cut off and eat) have deeper root systems and will anchor themselves better in our heave-and-thaw worlds. The details can all be found from here:
oh thank you Margaret for your response. I have my garlic on order, awaiting shipment. I will definitely plant in my raised beds now. I was concerned about freezing, since they will be above ground, actually, but if you have done it with success, then that is what I too will do! thank you!
I did this last year too, same hardiness zone as Margaret and the results were amazing! My one piece of advice is to follow what Margaret says about harvesting and curing closely. I waited too long to pull some of my heads and boy was I sorry. Nothing’s sadder than sticky, icky garlic.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.