How to Grow Garlic
Instructions for Growing Garlic
in Your Vegetable Garden
Garlic is a popular perennial vegetable, grown for its bulbs. It generally grows to 2 or 3 feet tall (but varieties like elephant garlic grows to 5 feet).
Garlic plants tend to repel insects from other vegetables. Growing garlic near fruit trees, tomatoes, and roses is especially helpful (see companion gardening). Garlic spray is ofent used in organic gardening insecticides.
Note: Garlic is more effective for insect control when grown in rich soil. This produces stronger sulfer-like qualities.
Garlic has a reputation for helping with: lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, preventing blood clots, reducing the risk of developing hardening of the arteries. Garlic is also said to be effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea. Additionally, compounds in this bulb kill bacteria and viruses that can cause colds.
Gardeners growing garlic have three types available: Elephant garlic isn't hardy, but produces very large cloves and is mild in flavor. Softneck garlic is hardy, has small cloves, the strongest flavor, keeps the best, and is easiest to braid. Stifneck garlic has medium sized cloves and a mild flavor, but doesn't store well long-term.
Selenium, phosphorus, calcium, Manganese, Vitamins C & B6
Growing garlic can be done in most climates. Garlic is frost resistant and will grow best in full sun.
Well-drained sandy soil enriched with compost is best for growing garlic. However, garlic will grow in most soils. A soil pH level beteen 6.0-7.5 is recommended for growing garlic. (see testing garden soil pH)
Gardening Tip for Growing Garlic - The looser the soil, the bigger your bulbs.
Also, keep the garden bed free of weeds.
For growing garlic in most climates, plant the cloves in the fall. In very hot garden climates, plant garlic in the winter. In very cold gardening climates, sow garlic in early spring.
Break the bulbs into cloves, and plant the garlic cloves (blunt end down) 1 1/2" deep, directly into the ground. Spacing the bulbs 6" apart (with rows 1' apart) is best for growing garlic.
Gardening Tip for Growing Garlic -
If planting garlic in the fall, cover with mulch to protect throughout the winter. Remove mulch in the early spring.
During germination, keep the garden soil moist, but not soggy. As the plant matures, water only when the soil starts to dry out. (Watering too much causes the bulbs to rot. Even if they don't, they won’t store well.)
Once the leaves are about 8" tall, lightly mix into the topsoil a dose of low-nitrogen fertilizer or compost.
Growing garlic is normally problem free.
Harvest the garlic bulbs when the flower dies and the leaves begin to turn yellow. Bend the tops over, and let the plants sit for a week before harvesting the garlic. Dig the bulbs carefully without damaging them. Set the bulbs in the sun for a few days to dry.
Gardening Tip for Growing Garlic - Don't water the garlic bed for two weeks prior to harvest.
Cured garlic is typically seen displayed in kitchens on attractive braids. Cure your garlic by banding it in bunches (with leaves attached), or braiding several together. Hang the garlic bunches in a dark, dry place with good air ventilation for a couple of weeks to dry.
Cured garlic can be stored in a cold cellar.