Planting Garlic: 5 Easy Steps

Planting Garlic In The Fall Garden

I was in my early 20's when I finally decided I had a love for garlic.  Prior to that, the only garlic I remember tasting was the bitter sharpness of raw garlic.  I had sworn it off for good.  Or so I thought.  And then I met my husband.

He was a garlic lover.  When I found this out I wasn't sure how I was going to manage cooking with garlic.  And then I discovered roasted garlic.  Oh my is that delicious!  So delicious that in my first
week of discovery I went a tad overboard and made myself sick.  I got over it, realized I needed to pace myself, and now love all forms of garlic - raw, sautéed, cooked and roasted.

And then I discovered how easy it is to grow.  So it has made it's way to our must-haves for the garden.

Here are the 5 easy steps:

  1. Find certified garlic bulbs.  They are usually available at farmer's markets, nursery's or garden centers.  Planting the garlic you buy in the grocery store could result in a failed crop since they are usually sprayed with something to slow their deterioration. 
  2. Break the bulbs apart so you have individual cloves.
  3. Plant the bulbs about 2-3 inches deep and 5-6 inches apart in loose, well-drained soil, pointed side up. 
  4. Cover the bulbs with soil, water them, and add a light covering of hay or dried leaves. 
  5. Let them be until Spring.
That's it.  Super easy.
Garlic can be planted in Spring as well, so if you've missed your opportunity to plant this Fall, why not add it to your garden plan for Spring?

A few things to consider:
  • Decide whether you want softneck or hardneck varieties {or both!}.  Hardneck is a bit more hardy and will provide scapes in the Spring/early Summer right before harvest time.  It is a bit more complex in flavor as well. Once the scape curls twice cut it off so the plants energy can be concentrated on the bulb.  Scapes are delicious chopped in salads, used in stir-frys, pickled or used in pesto.  Softneck provides more garlic cloves per head so many people prefer this to the hardneck.  Softneck is the variety you usually get at the grocery store.
  • If you live in an area that gets no rain or snow throughout winter, it would be best to provide your garlic bed a bit of water from time-to-time.
  • In late Spring/early Summer, when the garlic is ready to harvest, carefully dig up the heads and lay them out in a warm, dry and airy spot out of direct sun and sheltered from rain, to dry for a week.

Do you plant garlic in either your spring or fall garden?

Additional Gardening Posts:
The Buddy System: Companion Planting 
10 Tips For Planning Or Starting Your Garden
Homesteading Where You Are Series:  Grow

1 comment

  1. We're not planting garlic this year as it takes so long to grow, and we certainly hope we will be moving before then. But next season, look out! I use it almost daily, so it will have a place in our garden always.


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