Love Garlic? Grow Your Own!

Do you love garlic?  I do.  I like to use it in a lot when I cook.  In fact, if

Do you love garlic?  I do.  I like to use it in a lot when I cook.  In fact, if a recipe calls for two cloves of garlic….I add four 😉

Garlic also makes a great garden spray for repelling damaging insects in the garden.

Garlic is very easy to grow and inexpensive.  (It usually costs me a dollar to grow an entire crop of garlic each year).

Early fall is when you want to start planting garlic in your vegetable garden and it can’t be easier.

Garlic is planted from individual cloves.  Each clove will grow into a whole head of garlic.

Simply plant each clove, 2 inches deep in well-drained soil, with the pointed end upward. Leave the papery skin intact.

Noelle Johnson

Soon after planting, you will see green shoots sprouting up in your garden.  In colder climates, cover with a straw mulch for protection during the winter.  The green shoots will die back during winter, but will sprout again in spring.  (In warmer climates, the shoots will stay green all winter).

Garlic takes a long time to grow and won’t be ready to harvest until late spring.  You don’t have to fuss over it – just make sure the soil doesn’t become soggy.

Harvest your garlic once the outer leaves start to yellow.  Garlic must be ‘cured’ for at least 4 weeks in a warm, dark and dry space with the green tops left on.  Don’t wash the garlic – simply brush off the excess soil.

After your garlic is finished ‘curing’, then it is ready to use.  Cut the tops off (if you haven’t braided them) and snip off roots so that there is only 1/2 an inch left.  Store your garlic in a dark, dry area until you are ready to use them.

Your garlic will last for months.  I typically plant 14 garlic cloves, so I end up with 14 heads of garlic in the spring.  That means lots of garlic, which lasts me almost 6 months.

So, what are you waiting for?  When you stop by the grocery store this week, pick up a few extra heads of garlic and start planting!

Learn more about growing garlic AND some great cooking tips in this Birds & Blooms article.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.