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3 Garlic Farms in Colorado

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Colorado’s Rocky Mountains provide the perfect setting for growing garlic and other vegetables for the local farmers’ market and for selling in other states. Therefore, it is not surprising that many of the garlic farms in Colorado are found in the Rocky Mountains.

In Colorado, garlic is best planted in fall when the soil is still warm. In winter, the seedlings can lie idle as they wait to grow in fall. The harvest comes in summer!

Why Does Colorado Have Many Garlic Farms?

The reason for the existence of many garlic growers in Colorado is the conducive climatic conditions that make growing the crop easier. Of course, many farmers grow garlic for the market. However, the majority are home gardeners looking to avoid buying garlic from the farmers’ market.

Most farmers of garlic in Colorado are located in the Rocky Mountains, even though there are many others in the rest of the state. Besides, garlic is an integral part of the local food in Colorado.

3 Colorado Garlic Farms

1. Rocky Mountain Garlic

Rocky Mountain Garlic was founded by a married couple, Mike and Tiffany Collette. They grow organic garlic in Salida, Colorado. By avoiding chemicals, the farm is able to send to the market certified organic garlic.

They have an ¼ piece of land where they grow over 22,000 garlic bulbs in a season. Even though garlic is their mainstay, they grow other vegetables in a greenhouse, including onions, potatoes, and radish.

Rocky Mountain Garlic Contact Details

2. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield CSA

In 2010, the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield CSA started the garlic growing business with a Kaiser Permanente grant. It is a nonprofit organization growing garlic on a 4.5-acre farm in conformity to organic practices. However, it is not certified organic.

It is not like the family-run farms that grow garlic to sell to the market. Instead, it distributes the harvest to its members. They specialize in garlic but also work with other producers to provide farmers with locally-roasted coffee, bread, eggs, mushroom, and fruit.

Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield CSA Contact Details

3. Tagawa Gardens

Tagawa Gardens pride themselves on growing gourmet garlic with a unique bulb. As a result, the company has over 30 gourmet garlic varieties in its stable. But that doesn’t mean that the farm only sells its garlic to the big hotels in the area.

Apart from the silver rose variety, other types of garlic grown on the farm include Ajo Rojo, Red Russian, and so on. Buyers can either visit their farm stand or get garlic from their website. You can turn a normal meal into a feast with just one garlic bulb!

Tagawa Gardens Contact Details

Types of Garlic Grown in Colorado

There are three main garlic types of garlic, including the elephant, hardneck, and softneck. However, hardneck garlic is the most common due to Colorado’s harsh weather. That’s hardneck garlic is hardy and can withstand the harshest conditions.

Hardneck garlic varieties such as Chesnock red are spicier but have a short shelf-life. Besides, its bulb is bigger than that of softneck garlic.

When to Plant Garlic in Colorado

If you’re planting garlic for the first time, you can find bulbs to plant in September. You need to shop promptly to find the biggest bulbs before they’re mopped up by other buyers. Initially, the cost of planting garlic is high, but once you make the first harvest, you can save bubs for the next season.

By October 1, you should have planted your garlic. That means you need to have prepared the soil well in advance. Before planting, add organic material to aerate Colorado’s clay soil.

How to Plant Garlic in Colorado

Once you’ve prepared your soil, you need to sort the garlic bulbs according to their sizes. Next, take each bulb and break it into cloves. As you break a bulb, leave the papery skin intact.

Plant the cloves in rows, four to six inches apart. The pointed end of the clove should be upright. If you plant in fall, roots should emerge before winter sets in.

Apply a 4-inch layer of straw to mulch your garlic garden. That can fight off the weeds and keep moisture and heat at the right levels. In the spring, you should see scapes on the hardneck garlic. Cut them off and enjoy the first round of fresh produce from your garlic garden.

Harvest as soon as you notice that the leaves have browned up to 50 percent. However, you should start by withholding water for five days for the papery cover to dry properly. You can then harvest the garlic and prep it for storage.

Sources:

http://www.rockymountaingarlic.net/

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