How to Grow Garlic

By into the rustic - 3:55 PM



Garlic (Allium Sativum)

The name in an of itself is the perfect description for this tangy plant. Garlic comes from the Old English word, garlēac, meaning gar (spear) and leek-or in other words, 'Spear-shaped leek'.

This has to be gardeners most coveted crop, used in a variety of dishes from all over the world because of its delicious flavor. Renowned for its natural medicinal and disinfectant properties used during both World Wars, and is a natural de-wormer. Garlic is a semi-hardy perennial (it can be left in your garden over winter), that reproduces by making an underground head of cloves from just one clove. Garlic roots can go as deep as 2 ft., so they require a well-drained soil with a PH 5.5-6.8. They produce pink flowers that may or may not produce seeds.

Growing Garlic

Planting your garlic cloves requires full sun, fertile, moist soil, which must be loose and sandy or high hummus so bulbs can spread easily and grow. The best time to plant your bulbs is late summer to mid October-they grow better in cooler weather.

If you do intend to plant in the spring instead, do it as soon as the ground thaws or early March. Plant where you want it to grow as it does not transplant well.

Make sure you plant your garlic with the tips pointing up! Have the points sticking out of the soil a bit or very shallowly cover with soil. The roots will grow from the bottom of the clove.

Plant each clove 3" apart and 2-3" deep. Don't let them get dry! Keep free of weeds  as well to ensure healthy growth. One clove will yield an average garlic head of 15 cloves.

It is a good idea to inter-plant garlic in your gardens with companion plants, as it does not take up much growing space.

Harvesting & Drying Your Garlic

 STOP WATERING! Harvest the bulbs as soon as the leaves die and fall over.
Once your Garlic leaves get a foot tall

After digging up your bulbs, wash well and dry in the sun until they are white (about 1 weeks time).

Save what bulbs you want for planting. Those seed bulbs should be dried at a temperate no higher than 100 degrees F or in the shade. They require 8 weeks of cold weather (between 30-35 degrees F). FYI the skinny center cloves are not good for planting.

To store your garlic for cooking, you can braid the leaves and hang them in your kitchen or store in paper or mesh bags. The ideal storage for long-term is 35-40 degrees F with 60-70% humidity.

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