In past years I have written about the subject of planting garlic. I think it never hurts to remind experienced gardeners that they need to get that garlic in now. Also, there may be new readers that would like to try their hand at growing their own garlic.
To get garlic like those shown in the photo, you need to follow just a few simple guidelines.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that garlic needs to be planted in the fall. That means if you are thinking about doing it, now’s the time. Fall planting allows the plant to establish roots before the ground freezes. You can plant garlic in the spring but keep in mind that the bulbs will be quite a bit smaller that if you planted now. Don’t wait too late in the season either. Planting too late in the fall will have similar results as spring planting… small bulbs.
I should mention that garlic is planted from cloves separated from a garlic bulb. If you are planting a small crop, one or two bulbs from the grocery store will work fine. So called seed garlic is available from seed suppliers for those who want to plant a larger amount.
Since garlic is considered a heavy feeder, be sure the area you select has fertile soil and full sun. Addition of manure or compost is always a good idea.
After separating the cloves, place them into the soil at a depth of one to two inches. You can dig a furrow and set the cloves into it or just push them into the soil. They need to be about six inches apart so they have room to grow next spring. The space between the rows should be at least six inches or more depending on the amount of space you have.
Once the soil freezes, mulch the area with straw, leaves, grass clippings or something similar to a depth of four to six inches. Your new garlic will be happily tucked away and protected against the harsh winter conditions and freezing and thawing cycles.
Next spring rake off the mulch to let them begin their growth.
Keep in mind that garlic cannot compete against weeds. Any weeds present will drastically reduce your harvest.