I don’t know about you, but I love to cook Italian food. As a result, I always have a head of garlic sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter.
Last year, I decided to grow garlic in my vegetable garden. I had heard how easy it was to grow and I was eager to plant some in my vegetable garden.
How about you? Wouldn’t you like to grow your own garlic?
All you need is a garden with enriched soil, a yardstick, a spoon and a head of garlic – that’s it. The best time to plant garlic is in mid-fall.
Are you ready? Let’s get started…..
It is easiest to plant garlic from individual cloves. Just stop by your local grocery store and pick up a few heads of garlic and separate out the individual cloves (you don’t have to take off the papery skins).
Garlic like enriched soil, so be sure to amend your soil with a mixture of compost and aged manure.
Yardsticks aren’t just useful for sewing – they are also a great tool in the garden for spacing out seeds and plants. Place your garlic cloves out approximately 6 inches apart.
Place each garlic clove into a 2″ deep hole with the pointed end pointing upward. I like to use an old tablespoon for digging small holes, which makes making holes for garlic cloves, very easy. Cover with soil and water regularly, taking care to not let the soil become soaked (garlic don’t like ‘wet’ soil).
In cold climates, add a straw mulch to your newly planted garlic bed. Your garlic will soon send up green shoots. The green shoots will die to the ground in Northern climates, but once spring arrives, the shoots will grow back (in Southern climates, your shoots will stay green through the winter).
Before you know it, spring will have arrived and your garlic will be sending up tall shoots. Once the outer shoots begin to brown and droop (the middle shoots will still be green), it is time to harvest your garlic.
Carefully pull them out, so that they aren’t damaged. Brush off any large clumps of dirt, but then leave the garlic heads alone (it isn’t good to overly ‘clean’ them since it can bruise the cloves). Leave the leaves attached and let the garlic dry in a warm and dry area that is out of the sun. After a few weeks, you can remove the leaves and cut back the roots.
Store the garlic heads in a dry area out of the sun where they will keep for months. Now all there is left to do is find the ‘perfect’ recipe to use your homegrown garlic in.
Have you ever grown garlic? Do you have any favorite recipes that you use garlic in?
Learn more about growing garlic in this Birds & Blooms article.