Growing garlic is so much easier than it looks – but you’ll need to prepare the soil, give it plenty of light and space it just right. Let’s get started!
Prepare Your Soil
The first step is to find some well-drained, rich, loamy soil that your plants will love – and make sure there is plenty of sun available too! Garlic hates wet feet and shade, so avoid it when choosing your final spot for planting your garlic cloves.
Plant Your Cloves
Garlic cloves should be planted in full sun in the fall.
You can buy whole cloves at the store and plant them, it’s easy – but just like with all your other plants, you’re going to want to give them the best start.
You’ll need to sprout your cloves before you plant them in the ground. Get a clear glass jar and fill it with water; add one teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid seaweed and add your cloves. Let them rest in the water for 3-5 hours before you plant them.
Space Your Cloves
You’ll most likely be growing more than one garlic clove at a time; make sure you plant the pointy end up towards the sky and keep the tips 2” below ground so they’ll be protected from the elements. Space out your cloves about 6” to 8” from each other, giving them ample room to grow on their own without crowding – garlic is not a crop you want to have to thin out later.
Watering Garlic Plants
Garlic only needs a single inch of water each week during the spring – but once your leaves begin to turn yellow in the summer, you’ll want to quit watering your plants. This way they’ll get nice and firm and be ready for a fall harvest!
Don’t Forget to Fertilize Your Bulbs
One of the most important things you can do is fertilize your bulbs – you can use 1 tablespoon of fish emulsion to 1 tablespoon of liquid seaweed mix in a gallon of water – do this once the leaves are green and until the greens turn yellow in the summer.
Eat the Scraps
Scraps, the delicious flowery tendrils that sprout out the top of your garlic bulbs, should be culled regularly throughout the summer; with less energy going towards growth your bulbs will grow big and strong underground, just waiting to be culled.
Once the leaves turn brown it’s time to harvest, usually anywhere from mid-June to mid-July. Tie your garlic together in bundles of 4-6 by the stalks and hang them in a dry, shady space with lots of wind and allow them to cure for 4-6 weeks. Once they’re cured, you can store them for months on end!