How to video.
Grow your own garlic with ease! This October is the perfect time to start growing your own garlic crop. Get the most out of your harvest by choosing the biggest cloves to replant and saving the smallest cloves for your kitchen. Each clove will grow into a new garlic plant, giving you a harvest of flavorful garlic in 8 months.
As we enter the Autumn equinox and shorter days are upon us the next few weeks are ideal garlic planting time.
Here are a few tips to help you be really successful with your own garlic this year. Garlic is an easy crop but it does not like to be sitting in excessively wet soils and since it grows through some of the wettest months of the year good drainage is key to successful growing. We suggest berming the soil for the garlic bed to create a mound in which to plant the garlic. These raised beds will shed water and keep your garlic from rotting in the ground.
In the garlic world, size does matter because it saves so much time in the kitchen later. Starting with large garlic cloves will yield the biggest garlic heads at harvest. Soil fertility can play a role in producing large garlic but starting with large cloves will amplify those results. There is no reason why you can not use the garlic that you harvested from your vegetable garden in summer as a seed crop.
Alternatively, we sell our own home grown garlic seed that is jumbo size and grown without any chemicals. I suggest choosing the largest cloves for replanting and saving the smaller ones for the kitchen. Each garlic head will break apart into 5-10 cloves and these will all grow up to produce garlic plants for next year’s harvest.
Plant the cloves with skins on and the pointy side up in rows. We space them about 6” apart down the row and space the rows about 12” apart. Plant your garlic 3-4” deep. Before long the garlic will sprout and start to emerge from the soil. Late planted garlic will often remain buried beneath the soil until early spring, while early garlic will emerge before a hard frost. Don’t worry about protecting the sprouts, they are very tolerant of frost and cold, but an organic mulch of leaves or straw would be a wonderful way to build your soil while the garlic is growing.
In early spring when the soil begins to warm up and the plants begin to grow again, apply an organic fertilizer to the surface of the bed, or some well rotted manure or compost to feed the developing plants. By early to mid June or so you can harvest the scapes and about 2-3 weeks afterwards the plants can be lifted from the ground. There is no need to water the garlic as it’s growth season is through our wettest months, in fact keeping it on the dry side before harvest will help it cure quicker and prevent rust.