Growing garlic is a gardener’s answer to whose green thumb isn’t at their prime yet. It’s insanely easy to plant, care for and takes up so little space in your garden bed. The end results are beautiful and full of great taste garlic bulbs that you’ll be fully satisfied with!
Selecting Your Garlic
They’re two type of categories for garlic:
- SOFTNECKS: Get their name because the whole green plant dies back and leaves nothing but the bulb with flexible stems that make it easy to braid. This category is easiest to grow in regions where the weather is mild and keep longer than hardnecks. However, they’re less hardy and are likely to produce small, very-strong flavored cloves.
- HARDNECKS: Have a stiff stem in the center that ends in a beautiful flower, or a cluster of little bulbs, which then dries to a rigid stick that makes difficult to braid. This category of garlic thrives best where there is a real winter. When growing in warmer climates, they refuse to produce and are more vulnerable to splitting.
Planting Your Garlic
- Plant your bulbs in mid- fall ( October for most temperate places in the U.S. or at least 3 weeks before the ground freezes) so your garlic can grow their own root system before winter arrives.
- Make sure that the soil is loose, weed- free and very fertile.
- Divide the bulbs into cloves but don’t remove all of the papery covering on each clove.
- Plant the cloves root side down about 8 inches and 2 inches below soil.
- Space your garlic 6 inches apart -> the further your garlic is spread, the better!
- TRICK: You can plant your cloves around & between other plants in your garden in use as an alternative to pest control.
- Green shoots will come up and will need mulch around them.
- Avoid pouring watering into the crown of your plants!
And that’s all of the hard work that it requires!
Harvesting Your Garlic
- Depending on the type of garlic that you’re growing will determine when it will be harvested.
- These varieties are divided by early, mid-season and late. However, it depends not only on your climate zone but on the weather you have during your growing season. Meaning; the warmer the growing season, the faster they’ll grow!
- When the lower leaves have browned yet the upper leaves are still green… it’s time for the bulbs to be harvested.
- Make sure to harvest your bulbs on an overcast day when the soil is dry.
- Gently loosen the soil with a digging fork while making sure to keep it away from the heads and then lift them out of the soil.