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Last Updated on April 26, 2024 by Kiersten James

Planting and growing garlic at home is a simple process that yields many flavorful bulbs to use in your recipes and natural home remedies.

Garlic, with its pungent aroma and robust flavor, is a staple ingredient in kitchens worldwide. Beyond its culinary uses, garlic boasts numerous health benefits, making it a valuable addition to any garden.

Garden To Table

If you’re an avid gardener or simply someone who appreciates fresh, homegrown produce, learning how to plant and grow garlic can be a rewarding endeavor. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to cultivate your garlic patch, ensuring a bountiful harvest of flavorful cloves.

By selecting the right varieties, preparing the soil, and providing proper care throughout the growing season, you can enjoy a large harvest of homegrown garlic to enhance your favorite dishes and form the base for many home remedies.

Whether you’re an advanced gardener or just starting out as a beginner, planting and growing garlic is a satisfying way to reconnect with the earth and savor the fruits of your labor. 

Selecting The Right Garlic Varieties

Before you begin planting and growing garlic, it’s important to choose the right garlic varieties for your garden. 

Hard-neck garlic varieties are well-suited to cooler climates and typically produce larger cloves with excellent, deep flavors. Some popular hard neck varieties include Rocambole, Porcelain, and Purple Stripe.

Do some homework and choose a variety that are well-suited to your local climate and soil conditions for the best results.

Preparing the Soil forGarlic

Garlic thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. Begin by preparing your planting area in the fall, several weeks before planting. Work the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches, removing any rocks, weeds, or debris.

Mix in some compost or aged manure to enrich the soil and improve its texture. Garlic prefers a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0, so consider testing your soil and adjusting it accordingly.

Planting Garlic Cloves

Hard neck garlic is propagated by planting individual cloves rather than seeds. Break apart the garlic bulb into individual cloves, being careful to keep the papery skin intact.

Plant the cloves about 2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows spaced 12-18 inches apart. Ensure that the cloves are planted with the pointed end facing upwards and the flat rounded end downwards.

Caring For Garlic Plants

Garlic requires minimal maintenance but benefits from consistent care throughout the growing season. Water the garlic regularly, especially during dry periods, to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Mulch around the plants with straw, leaves, or compost to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and regulate soil temperature.

As the garlic plants grow, they may produce curly green shoots known as scapes. While these scapes are edible and delicious, removing them encourages the plant to focus its energy on bulb development. 

Simply snip off the scapes when they curl and use them in your cooking for an added burst of garlic flavor.

Harvesting And Curing Garlic

Garlic is typically ready for harvest in mid-summer, once the lower leaves have turned yellow and begun to dry out. Use a garden fork or shovel to carefully lift the bulbs from the soil, being careful not to bruise or damage them.

Gently brush off any excess soil and allow the garlic bulbs to cure in a warm, dry location with good air circulation for 2-3 weeks.

Curing allows the bulbs to develop a papery outer skin and enhances their flavor and storage life.

How to Store Garlic

Once cured, trim the roots and tops of the garlic bulbs, leaving a few inches of stem attached. Store the garlic bulbs in a cool, dry place with good ventilation, such as a mesh bag or wooden crate.

Properly cured and stored garlic can last for several months, providing you with a steady supply of fresh cloves for your culinary creations.

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How to Plant and Grow Lavender

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