How To Grow Your Own Garlic

Garlic is one of the “cool crops” that can be planted in early spring — as early as mid-March — for harvesting in summer. garlic bulbszPlanting is quick, easy and cheap and the results are delicious.

Organic Garlic Bulbs
It is essential to use organic bulbs for planting. Nonorganic and standard supermarket garlics are frequently treated with chemicals to inhibit their sprouting on the shelf. To ensure you’re getting organically grown garlic bulbs that are ready for planting, buy them at one of Payne’s Garden Centers*.

Prepare a bed for the garlic:
• Pick a site in full sun.
• Loosen the soil and dig to a depth of 4-6 inches.
• Thoroughly water the area of loosened soil, then allow it to settle for several days before planting.

To plant:
•  Garlic grows in segmented bulbs that are easily divided. Each segment, or “clove,” grows into a complete bulb. Start by breaking up the bulbs into individual cloves.
•  Make as many holes in the bed as there are garlic cloves to be planted. Make each hole 3 inches deep, and space the holes 3 inches apart. A standard bulb planter tool works well for this task.
•  At the bottom of each 3-inch deep planting hole, place 1 heaping tablespoon of organic bulb fertilizer, powdered rock phosphate, or bone meal. Using a stick or a long-handled teaspoon, stir the fertilizer into the soil at the bottom of each hole.• Plant one clove in each hole. Make sure the pointed end of the clove faces up and the flat end faces down. Fill each hole with the dirt removed from it. Do not pat down.
• When finished planting, cover the planted bed of cloves with a 2-3” layer of compost, straw mulch, or soil conditioner.
• Water the bed again thoroughly. Do not water again until later in the spring when little green or blue-green shoots indicate that the cloves have sprouted.

Note: Other cool crops include onions, potatoes, lettuces, peas, leeks, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

*Payne’s Garden Centers also has top quality seeds for other plants as well as bulb planters and all of the fertilizers and mulches mentioned in this article.