Garlic is one of the easiest crops you can grow in your garden. Planting garlic in the fall allows the roots to begin to grow. When winter arrives the ground freezes, the plants go dormant. Once the soil warms up in the spring, the garlic will start growing again right where it left off.
Choosing A Location
Garlic thrives in full sun and loose soil. it is best to choose a bed that has not grown anything in the onion family in the last two years. The bed must receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
If you use the square foot gardening method, plot 6 cloves per square. Dig holes 4 inches deep.
Divide The Cloves
Separate the bulbs in to individual cloves right before planting. Each clove will grow in to an individual bulb of garlic. If you plant the largest cloves, you will grow larger bulbs of garlic. Be sure to save the smaller ones for cooking.
Plant Your Garlic Cloves
Plant one clove in each ole with the pointy end up and the flat side down. Cover and firm the soil around each clove.
Water And Mulch Your Garlic Bed
After planting water the garlic bed well ad cover with a light layer of mulch. Shredded leaves or straw work well. Shoot for close to 2-3 inches of mulch to keep the weeds down until it freezes. Then add another 2-3 inches of mulch for proper insulation for winter.
Garlic Bed In The Spring
Once the soil warms up in the spring you will see green shoots sprouting through the mulch. Water the bed during dry spells. If the soil is dry an inch deep you will need to water. If the foliage shows stress you can feed your garlic with fish emulsion.
If you planted hardneck garlic you will have an opportunity to harvest garlic scapes a few weeks before your garlic is ready to harvest.