Planting Garlic

Last fall was my first time to plant garlic.  It was so easy.  I picked a spot in the garden, made a raised area with the soil, planted and mulched.

Then I left it alone until summer.

garlic-silverskin

silverskin garlic

You can’t get much easier than that.

Garlic is a bulb full of separate cloves that pull apart when you are ready to use.  It’s best to leave these cloves intact until you are ready to plant.  When you have everything ready to plant, pull off the cloves and plant them about 3-4  inches deep (with pointy end up) and about 6-7 inches apart.

elephant garlic

elephant garlic clove with pointy end to the side. That’s wrong and I fixed it before I covered it up.

Cover the cloves with soil and then mulch.  I use a 3-4 inch layer of straw over the entire bed.  I did not add any fertilizer, but I did add compost and aged rabbit manure after I harvested the bulbs in June.

I’ve been told it’s best to fertilize in the spring, but I didn’t even think about it and they did fine.  I really can’t say enough about compost though.  I have 2 big bins going all the time.  I believe it is so much better for your garden than store-bought fertilizer plus you are composting things that would otherwise end up in a landfill or down your drain.  (stepping down off soap box now)

Back to garlic.  I chose the variety ‘silverskin’ because of my location (south) and their ability to store for longer periods of time (up to a year).

I also wanted to try elephant garlic.  Even though the bulb is HUGE,

elephant garlic

it has a very mild flavor and is great roasted and mixed with butter for French bread or mashed potatoes.

One clove of elephant garlic can be as large as one bulb of silverskin.

elephant garlic

one clove of elephant garlic

They are planted the same way as the silverskin.

If you are thinking about growing garlic, be sure and get your garlic from a reputable grower.  I got mine from Renee’s garden, but check with your favorite grower so see what they carry.  Read about the different varieties to see what grows well in your area.  I would avoid planting garlic from the grocery store because you just don’t know where it came from or what was sprayed on it.  Just my opinion though.

elephant garlic

elephant garlic

I am using the garlic I dug this summer to plant this fall.

I also doubled the size of the beds.

I like garlic that much.

Peace to all,
Brenda

“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”  author unknown

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About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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9 Responses to Planting Garlic

  1. I was just thinking about planting garlic. You’ve inspired me to get to it! Thanks!!

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  2. bittster says:

    I’m glad you wrote this post, I keep getting in trouble for not planting garlic and I never think of it until spring… I’m off to the garden center tomorrow to see if they have any 🙂
    The elephant garlic sure looks cool!

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  3. Growing garlic is addictive! I’m adding another variety this year to my stand-by, but won’t be planting until we get a couple of frosts. I’ve gone as late as mid-November and gotten great results!

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  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Every year, you all give me garlic envy. I’ve no place to grow it but would sure love it if I did. That elephant garlic you held was huge! 🙂

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  5. I have doubled my garlic every year. We had over 50 heads this year. I plant, mulch and leave them alone in a raised bed. They just grow and grow until they are ready to dig up…you are correct…just so simple.

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