El niño year causing garlic top growth in winter


This photo kind of hurts my eyes. I must have had HDR on for some reason so I apologize for that!

Fall planted garlic is not supposed to form top growth until spring! Winter has finally arrived after much of December seeing temperatures in the 70 degrees F.

If you are concerned about the effect of unseasonably warm winters on the success of garlic, fear not. Most reading I’ve done on gardening forums has assured that the top growth will die back in when cold finally sets in only to regrow in the spring causing no harm to the clove-bulb development that we seek.

Anyone else seeing this? Or has anyone had this happen in the past and want to provide some additional reassurance?



8 thoughts on “El niño year causing garlic top growth in winter

  1. I’ve been away but the new year is getting me back on track. I love seeing your progress Daniel. Had a very small lot in NY (Z5) and moved to a condo in the midwest OH (Z6) so not must planting space for me. Although I got creative with some grow lights in the garage. 1st time – garlic is starting to grow so now i need to figure out timing, wish me luck!. You should do a 360 of your entire field I’m sure we’d love it!.


  2. In Britain, it’s normal to have top growth before winter sets in and the garlic is always fine next summer. We don’t get hard winters and the garlic is adapted to our climate but I think you should be fine.


  3. Pingback: El niño year causing garlic top growth in winter | thegreenergrassfarm – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  4. My kale self seeds and the other day I noted some were growing in an old bucket thanks to the warm winter beginning… now it’s wicked cold and things have stopped sprouting, but we got garlic, chives, kale, chard and beets all trying to grow right up until a week or so ago when we finally entered winter. BTW, I have used two old shower stall glass doors to eliminate weeds and grass from a site where I am going to make a new raised bed. Just place them end to end on the ground. After a couple of weeks the plants are not only dead but the earth is dry and loose so you just pull them out. Then newspapers and dirt to form the beds. I use dirt from the walkways to pile on the beds, as well as lots of compost…. we have chickens… from our 5 composting sites. One way to build up a bed is to use old pine logs in the middle piled up with dirt and compost. As the logs break down you can add more compost/dirt to maintain height. I also pile dirt up onto potato beds so they start out pretty tall by the time I harvest taters.


    • Thats a great idea with the shower doors. I’m trying to figure out a way to eliminate herbicide use to establish my food plots for wildlife in the back of the pasture. This year I am going to try and disk the area, plant buckwheat to let it smother out and seeds that sprout, then mow the buckwheat followed by planting of the clovers/brassicas/winter peas for the plot. That method depends greatly on rain to be successful since I am now dealing with 2 germinations. Alternatively, I may put down a tarp to smother out the existing grasses and rotate it around until most of the targeted area is planted. But now I am dealing with 1 germination per tarp rotation.

      Your tip with the logs sounds like the hugelkulture method I’ve been researching to start building soil over the exposed limestone faces in the pasture. I have a seemingly endless supply of invasive Tree of Heavens that are too big to chip, but too small for firewood. I was thinking of piling them up on the limestone faces and burying with manure/coffee grounds/compost! Then a successive planting of buckwheat then ryegrass should provide a nice mycorrhizal root system to start mineralizing the nutrients released by decomposition.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s