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8 Steps for Great Garlic!

August 30, 2021

8 Steps for Great Garlic!
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8 Steps for Great Garlic!
8 Steps for Great Garlic!

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8 Steps for Great Garlic!

Garlic likes:

  • To be planted in the fall
  • Full sun
  • High organic matter in soil

Garlic does not like:

  • The same spot two years in a row
  • Tight spacing
  • Weed competition

STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR SOIL IN SEPTEMBER
  • Remove all weeds from the area.
  • Add compost or manure.
  • Dig into the top 6” of soil.
  • Buy your garlic at this time and choose good-sized bulbs to start.
STEP 2: PLANT YOUR GARLIC CLOVES IN OCTOBER
  • Split the bulbs into individual cloves (save any damaged or very small 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 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
  • Cover Your Cloves With 2–4” Of Straw, Leaves, Or Grass Clippings.
  • Mulching Will Help With Weed Control, To Prevent Drying Out, And Add Some Insulation; This Needs To Be Done Before The Snow Starts.
STEP 4: MONITOR FROM JANUARY TO JUNE
  • Your Cloves Will Sprout Roots Underneath The Snow, Grow Through Spring, And Reach Full Size In June.
  • Water If There Is A Long Dry Spell (Two Or More Weeks) In May Or June.
  • Pull Out Any Weeds That Sprout Through The Mulch.
STEP 5: CUT THE SCAPES AT THE BEGINNING OF JULY
  • Once The Scape (Flower Stalk That Sprouts In Spring) Curls Once Around, Cut Or Snap It Off; This Will Direct The Energy To A Large Bulb Rather Than Putting The Energy Towards Flowers And Seed.
  • To Add Interest To Your Garden, Try Leaving A Few Scapes; You’ll Find That The Energy The Plant Uses To Make Scapes Results In These Plants Having Smaller Garlic Bulbs At Harvest.
  • Fry Or Bbq The Scapes In Any Recipe As You Would A Green Onion 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 to eat a few bulbs at this point, but they won’t store well until they’ve been 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 nice gift!)
  • Leave for two weeks, or until the stem is dry throughout, then cut 1” above the bulb.
  • Trim the roots, cut the stems, and store in a dry spot above 10°C (50°F). Inside a paper or mesh bag in the kitchen pantry works great.
STEP 8: SHARE AND ENJOY

For more great garden advice, check out the Growing Vegetables care tip:

{Growing Vegetables}


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