STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR SOIL IN SEPTEMBER
- Remove all weeds from the area.
- Add compost or manure.
- Dig into the top 6″ of soil.
- Choose good-sized bulbs to start.
STEP 2: PLANT YOUR GARLIC CLOVES IN OCTOBER
- Split the bulbs into individual cloves (save any damaged or tiny cloves for your next meal).
- Plant the cloves 2–4″ deep and 6–8″ apart.
- Plant four weeks before the ground freezes; aim for early October (Thanksgiving weekend).
STEP 3: COVER WITH MULCH IN LATE OCTOBER EARLY NOVEMBER
- Cover your cloves with 2–4″ straw, leaves, or grass clippings.
- Mulching will help with weed control, prevent drying out, and add some insulation during winter months.
STEP 4: MONITOR FROM JANUARY TO JUNE
- Your cloves will sprout roots underneath the snow, grow through spring, and reach full size in June.
- Keep well-watered during dry spells in May and June
- Pull out any weeds that sprout through the mulch.
STEP 5: CUT THE SCAPES AT THE BEGINNING OF JULY
- The Scape is the flower stalk that sprouts on the garlic plant in the spring.
- You need to cut or snap the Scape off to direct the plant’s energy to the bulb instead of towards flowers and seeds.
- Fry or BBQ the Scapes as you would use green onions or asparagus – delicious!
STEP 6: HARVEST AT THE BEGINNING OF AUGUST
- As the garlic matures in late July, the bottom leaves will turn brown from the ground up.
- Once half the leaves are brown, dig up the garlic with a shovel or pitchfork.
- Shake off loose soil, leaving roots and stems attached, and bring in from the garden.
- You can start eating a few bulbs, but they will store well once dried.
STEP 7: DRY (2 WEEKS)
- Bring your garlic plants into an area with open air and shade; a shed or covered porch will suffice.
- Tie plants in bundles of 10 and hang to dry.
- Once your plants have dried for a few days, try braiding some—this is a great way to store garlic (and it makes for a lovely gift!)
- Leave for two weeks or until the stem is dry, then cut 1″ above the bulb.
- Trim the roots, cut the stems, and store them in a dry spot above 10°C (50°F). Inside a paper or mesh bag in the kitchen pantry also works well.
STEP 8: SHARE AND ENJOY