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How To Grow Garlic

August 4, 2011 - GrowOrganic
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Garlic is one of the easiest veggies to grow, but sometimes those big green tops yield a harvest of disappointingly small heads.  After nearly a year of patiently watering, weeding and fertilizing, we want large flavorful garlic for our favorite recipes!  Here’s 9 steps to take, from pre-planting preparation through harvest, to help you grow your biggest garlic heads yet. In addition to following all of the steps outlined below, it is important to plant your garlic at the right time.…
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Growing garlic in your own garden lets you play with flavors you cannot find at stores. We carry more organic seed garlic than any other garden company, at the best prices, so plunge in and get garlicky. How to grow garlic The nuts and bolts of growing and harvesting garlic are right here for you, in our How to Grow Garlic video and our downloadable Garlic Growing Guide. The question is, which varieties of garlic seed do you want to plant? Softneck or hardneck or both? Garlic has a neck? By the time…
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Growing Guide
Garlic Planting & Growing Guide (pdf)
Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia a California organic gardener. Garlic is easy and fun to grow I'm going to show you how!

So for optimum bulb size you want to plant in the late fall just after the first frost. For us here in the foothills that's about November. To get my garlic off to a great start I've broken apart the heads into cloves and I've soaked them in kelp extract overnight. Garlic likes to be planted in loose soil with lots of organic matter I'm adding a little bit of compost here to increase the organic matter.

Space garlic rows about eighteen inches apart and plant the cloves ever four to six inches. You want to plant the cloves with the blunt end down. This is the end with the root nodes Cover the clove with about two inches of soil.

Mulching is really important you want to do a light mulch over all of the garlic you've planted. In northern areas you want to use a much heavier mulch If the winter mulch is very heavy you're going to want to remove some of it in the spring time. Garlic is easy to grow and early in the season you're going to treat it just like you would your lettuces or greens. You want to water it regularly and then foliar feed it with kelp and fish.

Weed regularly and mulch heavily because garlic doesn't like competition. Garlic likes even moisture throughout the growing season. The mulch and drip line is really going to help you achieve that. An important summer activity is trimming the scapes. So the scape is this curly flower stock and it produces these bulbils and you can grow garlic from these bulbils. It does take about two to three years to grow garlic from these bulbils so most growers just cut the scapes. It's time to cut the scapes when they curl down back into the leaves like these, cuttings scapes will help improve the size of the bulb and keep the scapes they're really yummy in stir fries or steamed in butter like garlic green beans.

For most varieties harvest time happens between mid-July and the beginning of August. Watch your plants closely when the leaves' tips start to turn brown you're getting close to being ready to harvest and at that time to stop the water and wait about two weeks or so. Once the plants are about one-third brown you can check the bulb size by brushing away the mulch. You can also dig up one or two plants to see if they're ready. It's better to harvest too early than too late, wow that's a beauty.

After you harvest cure your garlic by tying it in bunches or braiding it if it is a softneck garlic and hanging it in a dark place with good air circulation for all sides of the bulbs. For me a day without garlic is like a day without sunshine so plant some garlic this fall and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Seed Garlic, Hardneck Seed Garlic, Softneck Seed Garlic, Elephant Seed Garlic, Organic Seed Garlic, Seed Garlic, Hardneck Seed Garlic, Softneck Seed Garlic, Elephant Seed Garlic, Organic Seed Garlic, Soil Amendments, Organic Garden Compost


Joel Blanchard Says:
Aug 25th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Be sure to handle the garlic bulbs with care because they bruise easily - they seem tough but it’s best to think of them as eggs.  I wash the dirt off of them right after pulling them out of the ground because dried on dirt is very difficult to remove.  I leave the garlic outside for a few hours after harvest, but never in direct summer sun.

DJ Says:
Oct 5th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I have a drip system set up for the garlic bed. On a daily basis - how often should it be watered?

Bob Says:
Oct 18th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I have had rust on my garlic for the last two years.  What can I do to control it?  Bob

Martha Says:
Jun 29th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Can you grow in a container?  If so, which varites would be more sucessful in Houston, Texas? Thanks!

Ana Maria Says:
Jun 30th, 2014 at 7:06 am

Loved watching your growing garlic video. One recommendation is to have the written text at the top of the screen instead of the bottom as it was covering what was being shown in the video. Thanks!

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jun 30th, 2014 at 8:52 am

Hello Martha,

Yes, garlic grows very well in containers. A container like this is great: http://www.groworganic.com/smart-pot-big-bag-bed-jr-50-gal-black.html Soft .neck garlic does much better in warm climates.

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jun 30th, 2014 at 8:52 am

Hello Martha,

Thanks for the suggestion!

Trelva Jane Says:
Jul 25th, 2015 at 8:26 am

I live in AZ and don’t plant garlic until October.  Can I take advantage of your garlic seed now, August, and still have them good to plant in Oct. if I refrigerate?

Pat Says:
Nov 29th, 2015 at 4:32 pm

I tried a hard-neck garlic in tubs - planted 3 tubs 2 yrs ago - well drained, well mulched (in Philadelphia area) .... got NOTHING!!!!!!  NOT ONE head of garlic!!!  Blamed it on the fact it wasn’t in the ground…..now have no idea what happened because you say it can be grown in containers.

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