Fall is when you want to plant your garlic. It is perfect to make use of the space in the garden over the winter months and will be harvested before the planting begins for the summer.
Growing garlic could not be easier.
Garlic needs an open, sunny position and well-drained soil. The bulbs also need a period of cold weather to grow. Which is why fall planting is best.
There are two types of garlic.
Soft neck garlic which usually has all-white bulbs is the easiest garlic to grow and is the type commonly found in supermarkets.
Hard neck garlic which is more likely to have hues of pink and purple are hardier so a better choice if your garden experiences very cold winters.
To begin you start with a garlic clove.
You can use the garlic cloves you find at your local grocery store.
Peel back the dried stem on the pointed end of the clove to see the individual bulblets that make up the garlic clove.
Using your fingers, you want to pry the individual bulbs in the clove apart from each other.
You can use a twisting motion to help separate the bulbs from each other.
Remove the loose dry skin and separate the individual bulbs from each other.
Starting from the single clove you will have a dozen or more bulbs to plant in the garden.
Place them in the garden bed about 6 inches apart from each other. You do not need to be exact you just want to make sure that as the plant grows it has eno9ugh room to not crowd its neighbor.
To plant the bulb, you want to find the flat end of the bulb. this is the part that will be buried facing down to the soil.
Plant the bulbs so that they are an inch or so beneath the surface of the soils remembering to have the flat end down.
Do not worry about having the depth exact they will do fine deeper or shallower.
Lightly cover and water.
The bulbs will root and begin to grow over the winter.
Once they have sprouted you can apply some straw mulch to help maintain the soil moisture and help prevent the germination of weed seeds in the spring.
Garlic as it matures will send up flower stalks, known as scapes, from the center of the plant. Since most garlic is grown for its bulbs, the scape can be removed to increase bulb size by 20%.