Guide to Growing Garlic
Growing great garlic is a simple process that anyone can enjoy. Not only does garlic taste great, but garlic can be used for its green foliage when most other plants are in dormancy. It's even thought to have great health benefits. This article will show you how to grow garlic the easy way in a container or in your yard.
- In southern climates, garlic should be planted around Oct/Nov.
- In northern climates, garlic can be planted in Sept/Oct or early spring when the ground can be worked.
How to Grow
- Obtain a garlic bulb. You can order exotic varieties of garlic bulbs from the internet or seed catalog or simply find a bulb at the grocery store. Both should grow, but the exotic varieties will have distinct flavors you may have never tasted before. Either way, fresh grown garlic is much tastier than store bought varieties
- Find a place in your yard that has well draining soil and receives plenty of sun. In some climates where snow doesn't stay on the ground all winter, the garlic plants will most likely have green shoots from a few weeks after planting until it is harvested. If you're in an apartment or don't have a place in your yard, growing garlic in containers is an alternative.
Peel the protective papery layer off of the bulb and separate the garlic into cloves. Each bulb should have at least 5-6 cloves, some with many more. Don't take the covering off of the individual cloves and only plant the larger cloves (some bulbs have smaller cloves towards the center that won't develop well over one season). Each of these cloves will produce a bulb next spring, so you can see how one garlic bulb can multiply into many more over the winter!
- Dig a hole about twice the depth of the clove and plant the garlic clove with the pointy end up. If you look at the clove, one end should be rounded and blunt while the other end forms a sharp point. The garlic plant will grow out of this point so it is important that this is facing in the correct direction.
Cover the cloves with dirt and lightly water them. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy or the garlic will rot. If you're in a southern region, the garlic will start growing a couple weeks after planting and stay green throughout the winter. If you're in a northern region, the garlic will stay dormant until spring and start growing when it is ready.
- Next spring, pull the garlic up when about ⅔ of the leaves are yellow. Make sure the soil is dry when pulling the garlic or some of them will snap off at the base of the garlic plant and you won't have anything to hang them with.
- Once the garlic is pulled, it needs to cure for a few weeks. Hang the garlic by the leaves in a cool dark place until the outside papery shell has dried. If the conditions are right, you can keep this garlic hanging all year and use it as needed.
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