Growing gourmet garlic is easy if you follow a few basic steps.
Work the soil to a depth of one foot.
Work in a lot of compost or other organic material so the soil is loose and drains well. Raised beds are great.
Garlic is very hardy--plant it in September or October.
Divide the bulbs into individual cloves and plant the larger ones. (Eat the rest!)
Plant each clove root end down about 4” apart and 2” deep.
Fertilize lightly with an organic fertilizer.
Water in well after planting.
Usually the garlic will sprout, but not grow very much before frost makes it go dormant. Over the winter, it develops roots.
In the spring at the first evidence of new growth,
Top dress fertilize with a slow release organic fertilizer. (We use 4-3-2 Nutri-Rich pelletized chicken manure with 7% lime.)
Keep the garlic well watered and when garlic tops are about a foot tall fertilize a third time. The idea is to get as big a top as soon as possible. Big tops produce big bulbs.
In mid-summer, the garlic will be mature and the tops will begin to die from the outside leaves. At that point, stop watering.
When the two outer sets of leaves on most bulbs have dried, dig the garlic and spread it out in a warm, dry place. Full sun is great if it doesn’t rain. Leave the tops on the bulbs until the tops are completely dry. Then cut the tops off. Store the garlic in a cool, dry, ventilated, dark place and enjoy! Garages and basements work well. Properly cured and stored garlic will last for months.
*(MTYEWTK) – More than you ever wanted to know
Click on the link to the right for a downloadable garlic tip sheet.