A champion in both the culinary and health arenas, garlic accentuates flavor in many dishes and touts health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, fighting fungal infections, and boosting the immune system.

The process of growing garlic, while often shrouded in mystery, is actually rather simple and rewarding. All you need is timing and space....and a little instruction.

Once you have successfully grown your garlic, there are myriad of things you can do with it. For information on garlic's medicinal properties, click this link: http://bit.ly/1rkbfRj.  Or, if you prefer to stick to the culinary uses of garlic, click this link for numerous healthy and delicious recipes: http://bit.ly/1jAtgXe

Types of Garlic

Softneck
  • Prefers mild winters but hardy to zone 5
  • Most varieties do not produce scapes
  • Mild flavor
  • Large bulbs of 12-20 cloves
Hardneck
  • Cold hardy
  • Produces scapes
  • Spicy, sweet flavor
  • Medium to large bulbs of 6-12 cloves
Elephant
  • Hardy to zone 5 with mulch
  • Produce scapes
  • Mild flavor
  • Baseball size bulbs of 4-6 cloves

When to Plant

  • Garlic should be planted in the fall about 1 month before the ground freezes.

Preparing the Soil

  • Fertile, well-drained, loamy soil with a neutral pH (6.5-7.0)
  • Full sun

Planting

  • Pull apart cloves from the bulb.  
  • (Optional) Soak cloves in a jar with one tablespoon baking soda and one tablespoon of liquid seaweed for several hours to prevent fungal infection and promote growth
  • Place cloves in furrow or hole with flat end down, pointed end up, 2 inches beneath the soil
  • Space cloves 6-8 inches apart
  • Cover with 6 inches of mulch such as straw or dried grass clippings. 

Fertilizing & Watering

Fertilizing
  • Foliar-feed garlic every two weeks as soon as leaf growth begins in spring (typically in March) and continue until around May 15

Watering
  • One inch of water per week in spring
  • Stop watering by June 1st or when leaves begin to turn yellow

Harvesting & Storage

Harvesting
  • Early to Mid-Summer
  • Carefully dig up when 1/3 of leaves turn pale yellow and withered
  • Lay whole plants out or hang in ventilated, dry, warm place protected from rain and direct sun. Leave for 4-6 weeks until dry. 
  • Brush soil of bulbs, without removing papery wrapper
  • Clip roots to ½ inch long
  • Clip stems after one additional week (hardneck varieties); trim and braid stems after one additional week (softneck varieties). 


Storage
  • Store in mesh bags or hang from rafters in a cool basement or garage
  • Store at 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit