Like all bulbs – garlic enjoys stratification (a cold period before planting). This can be easily achieved by putting the seeds (individual segments that are pulled off a NZ grown garlic) in your fridge for a few days. Garlic performs by length of time in the garden – around 26 weeks, so if you are planting a little late (past the shortest day) this is OK as the bulbs will be ready to harvest in January/February rather than for Christmas. The primary thing is not to plant too late in winter as the bulbs would not have reached maturity before cold soils of next winter. The bulbs mature over a hot summer period but the seeds are planted in the midst June – August.
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