How to grow garlic
Garlic, that flavoursome bulb used in so many of the world’s cuisines (and in many of the world’s traditional medicine practices) is best planted in autumn. In most regions of the northern hemisphere, that means planting it sometime between early October and late November.
In timely fashion, we’ve just completed a video with Tamina Paris and Michael Weirich of The Wild Garden all about how to plant, grow, harvest and dry garlic. In the video Tamina breaks down the process, demonstrating each step of planting garlic from start to finish.
Growing garlic: the essentials
Can I plant garlic from the grocery store?
Short answer: not a good idea. For best results, purchase seed garlic from a local nursery or farmer’s market (you can also shop online for seed garlic). Decide which type of garlic you’ll be growing: hardneck garlic (as shown in the video) or softneck garlic — plus do a little research to find out which type will grow best in your growing region. As a rule, if your live in a gardening zone that gets colder, harsher winters, hardneck garlic will be a better choice.
Where should I place my garlic bed?
Garlic loves a spot with full sun, so when you’re deciding where to place your garlic bed, choose an area that will get 6-8 hours of sunlight per day in the growing season.
When should I be planting my garlic?
Plant garlic in autumn for biggest and best growth. When you plant garlic in the fall, it gets a chance to develop healthy roots before temperatures plummet and/or the ground freezes —after which it goes into a dormant period. If you live in an area where you get deep, hard frosts, plant your garlic 6-8 weeks before the first fall frost date.
What kind of soil should I use for growing garlic?
Garlic grows happily in well-drained, moisture-retaining soil. Most growers recommend you work in a healthy amount of compost or manure before planting.
How do I plant garlic?
Separate the seeds (also called cloves) of the garlic heads a day before planting. Plant the seeds pointy end up, six inches apart, two to three inches deep in the soil. Cover with soil and then cover your beds with three to four inches of organic matter, mulch or straw.