I begin to plant garlic around Columbus day (the unofficial start date). I try to have all the garlic planted by Halloween (the unofficial end date). However, I have planted garlic into early November with no problems. I have heard of planting garlic in the spring, but I have never done this myself.
Garlic is insanely easy to grow. It can be planted in a variety of soil conditions, but does best in rich, loamy, weed free beds with 6+ hours of daily sun.
I plan to grow both the hardneck and softneck varieties that I purchased, plus the basic "German White' from the local produce store. I am also planting two bulbs from the past years harvest.
Separate the individual cloves from the bulbs when time to plant. To protect from fungal disease, the cloves can be soaked in water with 1 T of baking soda plus 1 T of liquid seaweed. Keep the larger cloves for planting and save the smaller ones for cooking etc.
I use a hand bulb planter to dig to a depth of 2". Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart. Shoots will appear in the fall and will die back during the winter. Mulch the garlic with several inches of leaves, straw, etc when the ground starts to freeze to help prevent heaving. (Remove the mulch from the plants in the spring when new growth appears.)
Remember that garlic does not get harvested until June or July of the following year. Keep this in mind when planning out your next years garden!
The end results is great tasting garlic!
|Hardneck and softneck varieties.|
|Amend soil with organic matter.|
|You can also add a general purpose fertilizer since garlic is a heavy feeder|
|Work or turn the soil to a depth of 6+ inches|
|Separate cloves shortly before planting leaving the papery skin .|
|Plant cloves pointed side up, 2" deep.|
|Space cloves 4 to 6 inches apart.|
|If short on space, plant the garlic around the perimeters of your beds.|