If I would have realized that garlic is so easy to grow, I would have done it long before this year.
Garlic should be planted in the fall, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Be ready to plant about 6-8 weeks before frost.
*Do not use the stuff from the grocery store! If no one at your local farm market grows their own, buy from a good seed company. We support companies like Baker Creek.
Break apart garlic cloves a couple days before planting.
Plant about 4″ apart and 2″ deep. Plant the pointy side up and the flat side down. Mulch well (I used straw).
In the spring, remove the mulch (I forgot to do that…). When they flower (called “scapes” and very good to cook with), cut off the flower to keep the energy in the root.
For us, harvest was in July. Loosen the soil around the bulb and dig it out – don’t pull it like an onion. I read several ways to know when the bulb is ready – when the stem is anywhere from 1/2 dry to all dry. I harvested when they were a little more than 1/2 dry.
Dry the bulb (with the stem still on it) in a dry place, out of direct sunlight. Put them up on something so the air can get all around. When the whole bulb is dry and has the papery outside, it is ready to cut off the stem, brush the dirt off, trim the roots off, and store. You can also keep the stem and braid them all together.
These bulbs were on the small side, but I planted them in a new area that hadn’t been worked before – I expect that with looser soil, the bulbs will be much bigger.
I’ll be planting a lot more this year – the almanac says our first frost will be around October 25th or so. I guess that means I better be getting an area ready very soon!