Growing garlic in your garden spices up your garden as well as kitchen !! Garlic grows easily and requires very little space in your garden.
You can purchase garlic seeds from your nearest store or may even use the clove bought from supermarket.
When to plant
Plant garlic mostly in mid-autumn or in spring. The timing of fall planting should be such that the roots have a chance to develop and the tops do not break the surface before winter, about three weeks before the ground freezes.
Select a sunny spot.
How to plant
The cloves should be planted with the pointed end up and the blunt end down. Push each clove 1-2″ into the ground, firm the soil around it, and water the bed if it is dry.
You can plant garlic in single or double rows or in wide beds of four to six plants across with four to eight inches between plants. Tighter spacing in the beds will produce a greater number of smaller bulbs for a higher total yield in terms of pounds of garlic per square foot of garden.
Garlic should be planted in a fertile, well drained soil. Remove stones from the top 6 inches of soil. Garlic really benefits from compost early in its development, so you’ll want to be sure your garlic beds have a good, thick layer of compost when you first plant. Adding nutrients later would not be as helpful.
Before planting cloves, work a couple tablespoons of 5-10-10 complete fertilizer, bone meal or fish meal into the soil several inches below where the base of the garlic will rest.
Garlic requires fairly even soil moisture during the growing season with no additional moisture during the last few weeks.
If you want to keep your garlic through the winter, it is safer to stop watering too soon than to try to get the last bit of size to the bulbs since over watering shortens the life of bulbs.
Water every 3 to 5 days during bulbing (mid-May through June). If May and June are very dry, irrigate to a depth of two feet every eight to 10 days. As mid-June approaches, taper off the watering.
Mulching conserves moisture, moderates soil temperatures and inhibits weeds. Chopped leaves, swamp grass, reeds and alfalfa hay are among the preferred mulch materials. Grain straw is not recommended because it can host wheat curl mite which will attack garlic. Grass hay is fine if you don’t mind lots of grass seed in your soil.
When to harvest
Harvest Garlic in mid July or August. Loosen the soil around the garlic and pull it carefully out of the ground. The bulb will be big, burly, and tough-looking. But it’s not actually that tough! The bulb is easily bruised and damaged, so handle gently. Lay the garlic out and leave them for about 2-3 weeks in shady area with cool climate. Tie the garlic in bunches and hang them to hook. You may also set some bulbs aside for further planting. During the winter months you should check your stored garlic bulbs often, and promptly use any that show signs of sprouting.
Happy gardening and keep planting.