Growing garlic is super easy and it’s now time to plant. Back in June, I did a post on harvesting garlic and had requests for a “how to” post when garlic planting time arrived. Get out your shovels because planting time is now!
The first step in planting garlic is to pick a spot where there is plenty of sun and where the soil won’t be too damp. I picked a spot next to an area where I grow herbs and beside an area where I attempt to grow cut flowers. (I say attempt as the deer ate most everything I planted in this area this year.) I cleared out an overgrown Tarragon from my herb area to make room for the garlic plants.
Note that I have a few small garlic plants already growing. These started from small seeds that were attached to the large garlic heads that I harvested in June. Nature gave me a gift!
After you’ve selected your area, loosen the soil by hand digging or if you are planting a large area, tilling. I turn the soil over and over with my shovel, chopping at clumps with the shovel blade to break them apart.
Adding compost to the soil before planting is a good idea. I also sprinkled some 10-10-10 on my soil but if you want to be a 100% organic gardener, skip the fertilizer. After sprinkling on the fertilizer, I dug it into the soil with my shovel.
The five garlic heads that I had left from 2010 were the perfect amount for my 2011 planting. If you want to plant garlic and you’ve never grown it, plant what you buy in the grocery store. That’s what I did long ago when I planted my first crop.
After planting I mulched the garlic area with leaves that I finely chopped using my lawn mower. I did this by using the bag attachment and then running over some old leaves that I’ve had piled up behind my shed for a few months. The areas to the left and right of the garlic patch are mulched with decomposing leaves to prevent weeds from growing.
This shot is from July after my harvested my garlic had cured. I have a plentiful supply for the rest of 2011 and for 2012 and it’s pretty much a free crop since garlic is self sustaining once you plant it for the first time.
That’s it! Garlic growing is easy and almost fool-proof. Get some garlic cloves, get them planted, and you’ll have your own garlic to harvest next June.
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