How to Grow Garlic may be easier than you think.
I like that growing garlic means that I can have fresh garlic any time that I need some.
How to Grow Garlic
This is a simple guide for growing your own garlic.
If you are like me, you will like how easy it is to actually grow your own garlic too!
Did you read about How to Grow a Culinary Garden?
If you are thinking about growing your own garlic, perhaps you would also be interested in growing it in a culinary garden. Both this garlic idea and that culinary garden idea are nice for anyone who enjoys using their kitchen.
Something nice about growing your own garlic is that is can be done successfully in a raised garden bed. You can find a selection of raised garden beds here.
So you may be wondering just how long does it take to grow garlic.
It is true that it can take some time to grow your own garlic. However, what makes up for it is that growing garlic is easy to do.
What you should know is that it takes just one clove to grow a full head of garlic.
For best results, garlic should be planted in October (depending on your location) and takes about eight months to grow. The garlic needs the cold weather to grow its roots. There is a cheat however, which I will explain in a moment.
People often ask can you grow store bought garlic.
I have heard stories about people who have planted a simple clove from store bought garlic and were able to grow a fresh bulb from it. Also, I heave heard from experts that this is not always the best idea.
Here is why you may not want to grow garlic from a purchased garlic clove.
First off, some stores actually treat their garlic to make it look 'prettier' for you to want to purchase. However, other reasons include having to do with the original location of where that garlic was grown and whether or not that is the kind of garlic that can successfully be grown where you live.
Also, grocery store purchased garlic cloves may carry diseases or may have been treated to discourage sprouting.
It is best to visit your local nursery or garden store and look for something fresh that will also grow where you are located.
Tips for growing garlic.
When planting garlic, choose a location that is free of weeds and has good drainage. Raised beds an ideal location for growing garlic. You should also avoid planting garlic where other onion family crops have been grown in the past few years.
Other factors involved with growing garlic.
- Softneck Versus Hardneck Garlic.
- When to plant garlic.
- How to plant garlic.
- How to take care of growing garlic.
- Also, how to harvest garlic.
- Storing garlic.
Softneck Versus Hardneck Garlic
Garlic is generally divided into two main categories.
Those categories are softneck and hardneck.
There are some significant differences between hardneck and softneck garlic.
Hardneck garlic is more flavorful, has larger cloves, has a center stalk that can be also be eaten, and grows well in colder climates. Softneck garlic on the other hand, contains more bulbs but, no stalk, is easier to grow, and can be braided. When selecting a garlic to plant in your garden, it is suggested that you check with your local garden center or university extension to see what grows best and when to plant it for best results.
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When to plant garlic.
Garlic can be planted in the spring and in the fall. However, fall is really the best time to plant garlic as fall allows for the root growth that is needed.
So when should you plant your garlic?
When planting in the fall it is best to do it between four and six week begore the the ground freezes for the winter. However, if you decide to plant your garlic in the spring, you can refrigerate the garlic bulbs for eight weeks before planting to get around this.
How to plant garlic.
Garlic does best in full sun and with soil that is well draining.
Dig the holes for planting about two inches deep and five inches apart with rows at least 15"apart.
Separate the cloves from the bulb without removing the skins.
Then place the clove upright with the root facing down. One garlic clove will yield one bulb.
How to take care of growing garlic.
Garlic likes about an inch of water per week during the growing season. To water the garlic, soak the soul thoroughly.
Two to four weeks before you intend to harvest the garlic, you can stop watering as it needs to dry out a bit (you will notice yellowing of the leaves at this time).
You should do routine weeding around the growing garlic.
Weed control is essential for proper development as garlic has a very shallow root system .
How to harvest garlic.
Garlic is harvested in three forms.
- Scapes- In spring, hardneck garlic produces a scape or flower which some folks like to remove in order to allow for better bulb growth. However, once the flower stalk curls, the scapes can be removed and used in recipes.
- Green garlic- Garlic that has been harvested before it is fully mature. This kind of garlic can also be consumed similarly to green onions.
- Bulb Garlic - Harvested when the plants begin to fall yet, there is still some green leaves (indicating that the bulbs are still intact) on the plant.
For best results, harvest your garlic bulbs on a warm, sunny, and dry day.
To remove the bulbs, looses the soil, carefully, around the bulb. Then use a small garden shovel to dig the bulb out.
Garlic bulbs do not like a lot of sunlight.
Place the garlic bulb in a basket and use a kitchen cloth or similar items to loosely cover the bulb to keep the bulb from the sun while you finish the work. You can shake off the dirt from the bulbs but it is a good idea to not clean them too much as this can damage them.
How to store your garlic.
After harvesting your garlic you can start using it or cure it for later use. Curing the garlic helps to extend the shelf life while enhancing the flavor.
How to cure garlic.
- Start by ties the garlic into a bunch or bunches of eight. This means that you should leave the stalks and roots attached to do this.
- Hang the bunches, bulb side down, somewhere that is well ventilated and away from sunlight. A basement that does not have a lot of humidity and is about 68 degrees is good.
- After four to six weeks, you will notice that the stem is getting hard and the garlic is dry.
- Trim off the roots from the garlic to about 1 ½ to 2" from the bulb(leave the skin on).
- The bulbs can be stored in a refrigerator as room temperature can sprout roots.
- You can plant the larger bulbs next year for a new batch of garlic.