Do you like the aroma of freshly roasted garlic at Penne Alfredo?
Fortunately, this herb bulb makes garlic grow relatively easily in your garden. Plant in the fall and harvest in mid-summer next year.
Instead of buying garlic at the supermarket, grow it yourself. Homemade garlic has a very different taste profile to the cubes that you get in the bathtub at the supermarket. Turn on cooking with authentic homemade garlic in your recipe.
In this guide, we give you everything you need to know about growing garlic next season.
When Should You Plant Garlic
It is best to grow garlic in late fall or in the first winter months of the year. In warm climates, where there is no seasonal snow, you can plant in early spring. Garlic roots develop in autumn and winter before the ground freezes. In spring, onions start to shoot green leaves on the ground.
Planting time in each region of the country varies depending on the local climate. The idea of growing garlic in early winter is to develop a root system before winter begins for the season. However, you don’t want garlic to reach its highest growth before winter begins.
In the northern states, it is best planted between September and November. A warm area with mild winter conditions is ideal for growing garlic in February or early March.
Tips for choosing a planting location
We recommend that you choose a sunny place in your vegetable garden to grow garlic. Garlic likes to grow on clay, fertile soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7. If your soil is sandy, add fertilizer and organic compost to the soil for additional nutrition.
Garlic also grows very well on raised beds. Remember to make mulch around the garlic cloves every month to protect pests during the growing season. The soil needs to be dried properly because soil that is too moist will cause spoilage in your garlic bulbs.
If you choose an elevated bed for your garlic, make it 2 to 3 feet wide and 10 to 12 inches high. Don’t forget the chalk and soil. Add a few teaspoons of bone flour to your soil and then thoroughly before planting garlic.
How to grow your garlic
Visit the local kindergarten and buy garlic seeds. Ask your advisor about the best varieties that can be planted in your area before you buy them. It is important that you do not try to grow cloves that you buy at the supermarket. These carnations can be suitable for growing in different climates, and many are cared for to maintain shelf life, making growth more difficult.
Choose large, healthy garlic cloves that show no signs of disease: the larger the clove, the bigger and stronger the onion. Separate the cloves from the onions before planting, but be sure to keep the scales on the cloves.
Place the cloves on the ground, 2 cm deep and 4 cm apart. Place the cloves on the ground with the wide side facing down. If you plan to plant in rows, make sure that the distance is at least 10 to 14 inches.
How to care for your garlic
Gardeners in the northern states need to make sure their mulch is correct and cover the cloves with dry straw before winter arrives. If the ground freezes, it kills the clove root system. Layered straw and unloading on your bed before winter arrives, if you live in an area where the snow is pouring down.
Your garlic doesn’t need to be watered in winter and you only need to remove the straw and roughness after the last snow falls near you. When spring starts, you will see green shoots that penetrate the ground. Cut the shoots that grow in the spring because it can reduce the size of your onions.
In spring, apply fertilizer to the beds and coat the sides with a nitrogen base such as blood or pellets. Re-fertilize the onions when summer comes. This strategy helps maximize the size of the light bulb.
Remember to weed your bed and add more nitrogen to your plants when the leaves turn yellow. Water your garlic every three to five days from May to June and limit irrigation to mid-June.
Pests and diseases that affect your garlic harvest
Fortunately for gardeners, garlic is one of the few things that you can plant in your garden that doesn’t attract pests. You can grow garlic to keep pests out of your garden. Garlic contains natural polyphenols known as “allicin”. Allicin acts as a natural antimicrobial agent and protects plants from disease.
However, your garlic can infect the disease if you don’t treat it during the growing season. The only real problem for garlic farmers is the development of white rot. This fungus can attack the roots of your garlic in cold weather.
White rot kills your garlic and you have to rebuild the soil and let it rest for a few seasons afterwards. White rot is a pathogen that passes through winter on the ground and affects the harvest next year.
Tips on harvesting garlic
If you are harvesting a panting fall, grow your tubers anywhere between late June and early August. If you see the leaves turn yellow this time, it is a sign that your garlic is almost ripe.
Harvest when the edges turn yellow and fall to the ground. The best way to find out if your harvest is ready is to take and check one of the onions. The head of the garlic must have cloves, and the skin covering the onion must have paper and a dry texture.
If you pull the garlic too quickly, you will see that the lid is too thin and will immediately break after removing it. If you leave the garlic in the ground longer than needed, the onion will break and the skin will break. Cleaved skin attracts disease and makes garlic unsuitable for storage.
Do not dig your onions with a garden fork because this can damage the cloves. Then remove the bottom and get rid of excess rot. Don’t rinse your garlic, but keep it dry in the basement. You can hang garlic on a piece of 4 to 6 onions and let it dry in a ventilated room or cellar with good air circulation.
Tips for Storing Your Garlic
Your garlic is ready for storage after the bulbs are dry, and the papery covering is easy to crush between your fingers. The root crown should feel hard, and it should be easy7 to crack the cloves apart in your hands.
Remove any excess dirt, and leave the cloves in the paper wrapper. Store your garlic in a root cellar at a cool temperature of 40°F. The cellar should be dark, with plenty of airflows. If you store your garlic the right way, it can last you for months.
Don’t store your garlic in the fridge as it turns soft and loses its flavor. As the garlic bulbs dry, the taste of the cloves intensifies. If you plan on planting another crop in the late fall for the following year, keep your biggest and best-looking bulb for new cloves to plant.
Recommended Garlic Varieties
There are three types of garlic available to plant in your garden. Each of them has unique characteristics and flavor profiles. In most varieties, the bulbs are ready to harvest 90-days after planting.
As the name would suggest, this garlic variety produces a neck on the garlic that remains soft after your harvest. These are the types of garlic that you see hanging in stores in braids. This variety grows well in warmer climates. Softneck garlic varieties have a strong flavor and aroma.
Softnecks also grow larger bulbs because the bulb doesn’t divert energy into producing bulblets like other hardneck varieties.
Softneck varieties include “Inchelium Red,” “Silverskin,” “California Early,” and “California late.”
This type of garlic grows one ring of cloves around a central stem. There is no layering of cloves like you get with softneck varieties. Hardneck garlic is resilient to cold weather conditions and suitable for growing in the northern states. The hardnecks have a milder flavor than the softneck varieties, but they are more popular for use in cooking than softneck types.
Hardneck varieties include; “Duganski,” “Korean Red,” “Siberian,” “Chesnok Red,” “Spanish Roja,” and “German Red.” In addition to growing the bulb underground, the varieties also produce bulblets at the tips of the foliage as well.
Elephant or “Great-headed” Varieties – If you’re growing garlic for cooking, then stay away from this variety. Elephant garlic has a close relation to leeks than garlic, and it has a woody flavor.