Garlic Growing Guide

Garlic Growing Guide

Garlic is propagated from the cloves in each bulb. The size of the clove is important when selecting planting stock. Discard anything that is small, soft or damaged.

Plant into well-drained soil with a high organic content. Provide additional nitrogen if needed through the use of organic fertilizers. In general, nitrogen-containing fertilizers should be applied in spring as soon as the plants begin growing and every two weeks until the plants have four leaves.

Plant in the fall in late September or October. Crack bulbs into individual cloves. Plant cloves basal plate (root) side down 2-4 inches deep. Spacing is 6 inches within the row and 12 inches between the rows as a minimum. Mulch (straw, grass clippings leaves, etc.) heavily if you have it to help with weed control. Garlic does not compete well with weeds and will cut your yield. Keep well weeded!! Water requirements are ideally 1" per week. Stop watering at least two weeks prior to harvest.

Depending on the variety, harvest will be in late June or early July. Garlic will double in size in its last month of growth, if dug to soon the skins will not have formed around each clove. If dug to late, the cloves may have begun to spread apart in the soil. It is best to dig up a plant and judge the bulbs. In mid-June a scape will grow from the center of the plant. Remove this, as it will have an effect on bulb size. These scapes are edible.

Hang garlic in bunches in a covered barn or shed to dry. Bundle 10-12 together with string, hang from a hook or nail from the rafter. Provide good air circulation. The garlic will need 10-14 days to dry. When the outer skins are dry and crisp they are ready for storage or use. Clip off the stem and roots. Place in an onoin bag and keep in a dry, dark, cool place. For more information see Growing Great Garlic by Ron L. Engeland. It may be in your local library. Check on-line sources or your local bookstore if you want to purchase a copy.