For warding off vampires or adding depth to your recipes, growing your own garlic is easy.
How to Grow Garlic
Garlic should be planted in the fall in most areas. Plant a month before the ground freezes.
If you live where the ground never freezes, then February or March are good times to plant.
Although it seems like “why not?”
Don’t plant garlic bulbs from the grocery store. They may be unsuited to your climate and, as most store cloves are treated for longer shelf life, they will be harder to grow.
But if you must, go ahead and try. Gardening is all about trial & error and trying again anyway!
You can order garlic bulbs from many reputable places such as Seeds of Change.
Two basic types of garlic:
Softneck: varieties have necks that stay soft after harvest. Best suited for warmer climates. Strong, intense flavor. Recommended varieties: ‘Persian Star’, ‘Mother of Pearl’.
Stiffneck: varieties grow one ring of cloves around a stem, there is not a layer of cloves as there are in softneck varieties. They are extremely cold hardy, but do not store as well or long as other varieties. Flavor is more mild than softnecks. Recommended variety: ‘Carpathian’.
Planting, Harvesting & Storing Garlic
Plant your cloves in well drained, organic soil with the pointy side up. The cloves should be about 4 inches apart & 2 inches deep. Fertilize to ensure enough nitrogen. Use my three secrets to feed your cloves organically throughout their growth.
Harvest your home grown garlic when the tops are yellow & fall over.
Gently pry the bulbs out with a spade and dry. Hanging the bulbs upside down is a good drying method.
Two weeks of drying with good circulation should do it. The bulbs are properly cured when the casings are papery, the roots dry & the cloves break apart easily.
Store your cured garlic bulbs in a dry spot at about 40 degrees. Do not store in the refrigerator!
Grown, harvested & cured well, your garlic bulbs can be stored for about six months.
The drier the more intense the flavor, so just like us, garlic improves with age under the right conditions.
Give growing garlic a try.
I love the stuff, my husband not so much, how about you?
** Kelly **