Did you know fall is the season to plant garlic? It is an excellent time to plant other bulbs – daffodils, crocus bulbs, etc so it’s easy to remember, when you think about it that way, to plant your garlic as well.
When you plant garlic you aren’t planting the full bulb. Break it up into individual cloves and plant each segment as it’s own plant. It is important to start with organic seed stock if you want to be sure you are growing your plants organically. And of course, the variety available through the amazing heirloom plants is unsurpassed.
Before planting, soak the garlic cloves for a few minutes in a kelp extract to help them root quickly and strongly. Garlic doesn’t like competition so space the rows 18 inches apart and to make larger heads, keep the soil loose and friable with plenty of compost and organic material added in.
Plant garlic after the first frost of fall, but before the ground is frozen solid. Plant with the pointy tip up, about 2 inches deep. Cover with mulch to provide some protection from winter temperature extremes.
Maintaining and Harvesting Garlic
Feed garlic as needed in the spring when the lettuce and other greens are also growing nicely. Keep the mulch around to smother out weeds that will compete with your garlic and diminish the bulb size. Once the leaves begin turning brown you can decrease the watering (in my area that happens automatically!) and get ready to harvest.
Dig the garlic up carefully. Use a digging fork so you don’t break open the skins of the garlic. Let them cure for a week in an airy, dark spot so the skin will toughen and then you’ll be able to store garlic by hanging it in tied or braided bundles. (Note – hardneck garlics do not store as long as softneck garlic varieties but will easily keep for several weeks.)
Organic Garlic Growers Giveaway!
Want to try your own! You can get started right now with this garlic growers giveaway brought to you by Peaceful Valley. Check out their amazing selection of organic garlic varieties. I’ve never grown a purple garlic variety yet, have you? Now is your chance! You can win:
- 1 pound of Purple Italian organic garlic seed (a “gourmet” hardneck garlic variety)
- 1 quart of our Organic Liquid Kelp (for soaking the cloves overnight before planting)