I love to grow garlic at home for my family. I get so excited when my local fruit market gets the American-grown garlic in because this is perfect for starting to grow my own garlic. In the summer I store my garlic in the refrigerator which tends to encourage sprouting. At this point garlic, it is ready for fall garlic planting.
Can you grow garlic from a clove?
Yes, you can grow garlic from a clove which is a small section of a garlic bulb. The garlic bulb and sections are the part of the garlic we eat and are packed with nutrition. When buying garlic bulbs look for ones that still have their roots if you wish to grow garlic from a clove as these are American-grown. China-grown garlic has had the roots ground down to prevent people from planting to avoid the spread of diseases from the plants.
Is it easy to grow garlic?
Yes, it is very easy to grow garlic at home. Sowing garlic using the cloves right out of your kitchen to supply your family with endless garlic is a simple process.
How to grow garlic from a clove
The easiest and most valuable vegetable to grow at home is garlic. Despite the fact growing garlic seed is possible, it takes two years before the plant produces an edible bulb. Therefore, sprouted garlic cloves will provide you with a faster return on investment. If you find your garlic bulbs growing you have a great start to your garlic garden bed.
Growing garlic does not require much space, but as it is planted long before other vegetables, it should be planted in a place that will remain undisturbed until spring. Move your garlic and onions to a new spot each year to help prevent disease and keep soil from being depleted. You can swap the soil in a shallow pot for the soil from another garden bed before planting.
When preparing your soil for garlic cultivation, remove stones and debris from the top six inches of the soil. Mix plenty of fresh compost or fertilizer with your garlic to help it grow. You will have a better harvest if you start with better soil.
When to plant garlic in the fall
Garlic can be planted in the fall before the ground freezes over for the easiest planting. This is after your garden has died off for the year making it perfect for planting right after tilling your old dead garden into the soil to nourish it over the winter for spring planting. As long as the soil has thawed enough to work with by the time onions are planted in the spring, you can plant garlic with the onions but it will have less time to become well established before the summer heat rolls in.
The cloves of garlic should be planted 4-6 inches apart with the roots down. When planting in the fall, you can add a thick layer of mulch up to 6 inches thick to help the garlic survive the winter. Mulching is very important when planting in a very cold climate.
Garlic planting season can run into the spring until about 6 weeks before the last expected frost provided the soil is workable. In the early stages of garlic growth, the garlic bulbs must experience cold to encourage growth but they need to stay relatively dry if at all possible similar to other bulbous plants.
How to grow garlic in pots
If you choose a container without drainage holes on the bottom, you won’t give your roots enough room to grow. Additionally, it should be at least eight inches deep. A pot needs to be big enough to accommodate all the cloves of garlic you plan on growing. You can generally plant more cloves per container the larger it is. Keep your garlic plants outside over the winter because garlic needs cold weather, so make sure you select containers that will not crack or break.
If you have a poorly-drained soil mix, you may suffer clove rot if you receive a lot of rain in the winter. Additionally, garlic needs fertile soil that is heavy enough to support tall plants and expanding garlic bulbs in spring and summer. Adding a good deal of compost and peat moss to a quality potting mix will do the trick just fine.
You need to fertilize your container as soon as you have filled it with compost and potting soil. Garlic plants require a lot of phosphorus to produce large bulbs since they are bulbous plants like daffodils and tulips. The pot should be filled with two to three tablespoons of organic fertilizer made specifically for bulbs.
Garlic in pots should be planted approximately four weeks after the first frost. Split the garlic bulb into its individual cloves by splitting it into pieces before planting. Save the biggest cloves for planting and use the smallest ones in the kitchen. You can store these in the refrigerator to encourage sprouting.
How to harvest garlic
Harvesting of garlic occurs when the stalks and leaves of the plant turn brown and fall to the ground in mid-July to early August. The plant is ready for harvest after the stalks begin to turn brown and flop over.
The garlic bulbs should be gently dug up and laid out on a layer of newspaper to dry in a cool, dark location with good airflow. If you choose an area that will be out of the way, such as a shed or closet, the curing process will take 2 to 3 weeks.
Garlic stalks can be easily stored if the stalks are braided together and hung throughout the winter. Garlic will ward off colds and flu all winter long when you include it in soups, stews, and your favorite dishes.