NEW YORK STATE (WWTI) — On April 19, National Garlic Day, farmers across the state are recognizing New York’s role in U.S. garlic production.

According to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Cornell Vegetable Program, garlic production has increased significantly in the state over the last few decades. Garlic is now considered to be an important niche crop.

Specifically, back in 1992, garlic took up only 11 acres of New York’s cropland, but by 1997, the number grew to 153 and then doubled again to 306 acres in 2007.

Now in 2022, New York is the fifth-largest garlic-producing state in the county as 10% of all vegetable farms report growing the crop. Garlic is estimated to be a $20 million crop.

Garlic is a perennial crop but is usually grown as an annual. It can be grown in a variety of garden soils and is hardy from zones 4 through 9. It can be planted in spring or fall but requires a nine-month gestation period.

Products are sold at farmers’ markets starting in mid-summer to the fall. Varieties grown in New York also vary and differ from conventional types found in grocery stores. CCE said that the State is especially known for its “hardneck” garlic, which has a hard stalk running through the center of the bulb.

Additional varieties commonly found in New York include New York white, also known as Polish White or Artichoke, German Extra Hardy, German Red and Chesnok Red.

Information on how to plant garlic in New York can be found online.