This guide on how to grow garlic includes tips on planting garlic cloves, growing garlic in containers, and harvesting garlic.
Garlic is one of the most flavorful and versatile plants you can grow. The smallest clove of garlic adds so much flavor, so it is a little plant that goes a very long way. If you are considering growing garlic this season, take a look at the tips below on how to grow garlic. You will find that garlic isn’t just easy to grow, but it is a frugal way to flavor your meals as well.
How to Grow Garlic
How to plant garlic cloves:
Planting garlic is a little different than planting most other garden vegetables. You won’t plant garlic from seeds or seedlings but instead from cloves. In some cases, you will find these cloves with a small bit of greenery growing out of them. Other times the cloves will look a lot like onion bulbs. You can find garlic cloves ready for planting at most gardening centers, or you can simply grow from fresh garlic cloves as well.
Choose a warm and sunny spot that gets moderate to full sun. You want to choose an area that enjoys nutrient-rich soil that drains well. Soggy cloves will quickly rot, so making sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged is important.
When planting garlic cloves, separate the cloves or use the entire bulb. Plant garlic cloves 2 inches apart while keeping your rows spaced about a foot from each other. When planting, make sure the flat side of the clove is facing downward while the pointy end is facing upward.
When to plant garlic:
You can plant garlic twice a year. You can opt for spring planting or fall planting. You can even opt for both! Should you plant during the fall you won’t see results until spring. But this method does give your cloves time to mature and prepare for the spring season.
As soon as your garlic sprouts foliage, you can start feeding the plant a nutrient-rich fertilizer. You can also add additional mulch around the base of the plant at this time. This will keep the bulb cool, will help retain moisture in the soil, and can encourage proper drainage. You can use wood mulch or even save money by using shredded leaves, straw, or grass clippings. Adding some compost around the base of the plant can help encourage growth as well!
How to grow garlic in containers:
If you have limited space, planting garlic in a container is an idea. Use a large flower pot at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep per 3-4 garlic plants. It is always important to ensure that the pot has proper drainage so that the garlic bulb doesn't get soggy and experience rot. If you are worried about your garlic getting enough sun, a pot is a great idea because you can move it according to sun patterns.
Garlic plant care tips:
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when growing garlic. The care of the garlic bulb should be your priority since any rotting or drying out can ruin the whole plant. To prevent this, you want to keep your soil cool, moist, and loose. Check the soil regularly, offer water when it dries out, and use organic mulch generously around the base of the plant.
During late summer, you can begin to slow down your waterings. You actually want the garlic bulb to start drying out at this time. Hold off on watering for about two weeks prior to harvesting. You can also let up on mulch at this time.
When to harvest garlic:
Harvesting garlic may seem a little complicated, but it is a process that is easily learned. You will pull up the entire plant during late summer. When you notice the foliage is starting to turn brown and dry out, you know that the garlic is prime for picking! Pull the plant out and allow the entire plant to sit in the sun and dry out thoroughly. You want the plant to sun dry for about 4-6 hours before bringing them indoors. Once you bring them indoors, allow the garlic to continue to dry in a well ventilated and cool area for another week.
After this process, your garlic is ready to be used or stored for later use. Garlic cloves should be stored in a cool and dry place away from sun or heat. Otherwise, sprouting may occur.
Once harvested you can use your garlic all sorts of ways. Most people prefer to roast garlic prior to using it to bring out the flavor. It can be used in marinades, added to fish and chicken dishes, and used for flavoring in bread recipes as well. It is a savory flavor that many people enjoy, so you won’t find any shortage of ideas when it comes to utilizing it.
Try these tips on how to grow garlic and see how they can help you grow garlic with success!
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