How To Plant Garlic

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Oh my gosh, have you ever had the chance to plant garlic? Once you grow garlic there is no going back to buying garlic at the stores. It tastes so much better and is so easy to grow, anyone can do it. Did you know that within those garlic bulbs is a chemical called allicin? That’s where the aroma comes from. I bet you can almost smell the garlic, right?

I quote Wikipedia, “When fresh garlic is chopped or crushed, the enzyme alliinase converts alliin into allicin, which is responsible for the aroma of fresh garlic. The allicin generated is unstable and quickly changes into a series of other sulfur-containing compounds, such as diallyl disulfide.”

Mark and I are rarely sick and I’m sure it has to do with the amount of garlic we put in our meals each day. I make a garlic soup to take to people who are sick to ward off severe colds and flu. When you feel that scratchy throat feeling, you may want to make this soup. I’m not saying it will cure a cold, but the warm soup may clean out the gunk in your throat and sinuses. My recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Buying Seed Garlic

My favorite place to order seed garlic: Non-Gmo Organic Seeds Be prepared for sticker shock when you see the prices of seed garlic. Just remember after the first investment, you can save some of the larger bulbs for seed next year. If you plant correctly, you will always have seeds to plant year after year. Just buy right the first time.

Two Categories of Garlic

Hard Neck Garlic

This type of garlic will have flowers (scape) a few weeks before the bulb is ready to harvest. The scape is the bud of the garlic and is edible. You want to remove the flowers (scape) to allow the plant to devote its energy to grow a larger bulb. This one is perfect for cold climate areas. You may want to check your Zone for planting, they are good to grow up to about Zone 6. Check Your Zone

You will get two harvests if you plant it at the right time. I like to order the seed garlic online to get the very best ones to plant. If you have a good local nursery they may have the seeds that work for your climate. Hard necks do not store as long as soft necks, so go ahead and eat them within 3-6 months. The skins come off easier than the soft neck varieties.

Soft Neck Garlic

This typically is what you find in the grocery stores. It usually comes from California and Mexico, or another warm climate area. The bulb has a mild flavor.  This one braids really easily and makes a great gift for friends and family when braided. Check Your Zone

When to Plant Garlic

The best time to plant garlic is in the fall, about 4-6 weeks before your very first frost. Here in Southern Utah, our planting date is the middle of October. I’m in Zone 8A. Please check your Zone for planting times. This is when I really wish I had a Green House. I would love to plant year round. We usually harvest in June.

Fall Planting

Plant garlic cloves in mid-fall in a sunny location in a dark loamy soil, remove any visible rocks. After you separate the garlic bulb into cloves plant one clove 4-6 inches apart and about 1-2 inches into the ground with rows about 2 feet apart. Water the soil after planting if the soil is dry to the touch. Plant the pointed end up and the blunt end down. Put down 6 inches of mulch for winter protection.

The plants will go dormant naturally over the winter and the mulch helps keep the soil temperatures alternate from freezing and thawing. Once the ground freezes add another layer of mulch. The goal of planting in the fall is to give the bulbs a head start by sending out roots. Once the soil starts to warm in the spring the plants start growing again. Note that garlic grows best when it can receive six full hours of full sun each day.

Spring Planting

Plant garlic cloves as early in spring as you can when your soil can be worked about the same time as you plant onion sets. After you separate the garlic bulb into cloves plant one clove 4-6 inches apart and about 1-2 inches into the ground with rows about 2 feet apart. Water the soil after planting if the soil is dry to the touch. Plant the pointed end up and the blunt end down. Note that garlic grows best when it can receive six full hours of full sun each day.

Where to Plant Garlic

Please choose a spot in your garden or raised garden bed where garlic or onion has not been planted before. Garlic takes very little space in the garden. Make sure the water will drain from the plants, they do not like standing water. Disease and rotting may occur. The soil must be fertile, and like I said, well-drained. Work your compost into the soil and the best fertilizer is 10-10-10.

Plant Garlic

Please do not let the soil get too much water, they need to be watered, but not overly watered. The soil must not be constantly wet. Be sure to prepare your soil with some good organic soil. You may want to look at my post on Replenishing Your Soil.

After you separate the garlic into cloves plant one clove 4-6 inches apart and about 1-2 inches into the ground with rows about 2 feet apart. Water the soil after planting if the soil is dry to the touch. Plant the pointed end up and the blunt end down.

Plant Garlic

When you plant garlic you can usually harvest your garlic bulbs in 6-9 months depending on the variety you choose to plant.

Garlic Harvest and Storage

Plant Garlic

You will know when the garlic is ready to harvest when most of the leaves have turned brown. You may want to set aside some of the largest bulbs for next years planting. Each bulb typically has 5-10 cloves.

Plant Garlic

Please remove the dirty soiled skins and cut the tops off at 1-2 inches above the garlic bulbs and store the loose bulbs in a dry, cool, breezy place in baskets. If you want to braid the stems and hang on strings please bend the stem over about 2-inches above the ground to dry the stems before braiding.

Plant Garlic

Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup

5 from 1 vote
Plant Garlic
Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 10 mins
 


Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of chicken (12.5 ounces each drained or substitute 2 cups of cooked chicken)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base or substitute equal amounts of water with chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup freeze-dried onions or 1 fresh onion chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 3/4 cup dry dehydrated carrots or 1-1/2 cups diced fresh carrots
  • 3/4 cup dry freeze dried celery or 1-1/2 cups diced fresh celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 package Grandma’s frozen egg noodles (11-ounces cooked and separated as directed or boil your pasta of choice)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup undiluted optional
  • 1 bulb fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
Instructions
Instructions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours, BUT add the Grandma’s Noodle the last two hours or they will be mushy. Enjoy!

Final Word

Let me know when you plant garlic in your area, and how you store it? Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.

Growing Spinach by Linda

My Favorite Things

Azomite Micronized Bag, 44 lb
FibreDust Coco Coir Block
Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound
Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic Bone Meal, 3 lb.
Espoma VM8 8-Quart Organic Vermiculite

12 thoughts on “How To Plant Garlic

  • October 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm
    Permalink

    Several years ago I started planting my own garlic (when I had a large garden). Now I raise garlic in a 5 gallon bucket on my deck! When I first learned “how” to grow garlic, the man I received my “seed” from suggested using a 3/4″ to 1″ dowel rod with a line to indicate how deep to plant. It was so easy to make the holes for the bulbs. He also suggested I put a teaspoon of bulb food in the bottom.

    I did the above and was AMAZED at how large the heads of garlic were – it almost looked like the size of elephant garlic they were so big.

    I love using the scapes for stir-fries. I have also chopped and frozen scapes for use in soups and stews later on.

    Reply
    • October 17, 2018 at 2:34 pm
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      Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, I have got to try the 3/4″ to 1″ dowel rod!! I will try the bulb food in the hole next time, I love it! Thanks for this awesome tip!!! Linda

      Reply
  • October 18, 2018 at 9:29 am
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    I’m flummoxed about the “dry, cool, BREEZY place to store the garlic. The only breezy places I can think of would be out in the open. Even the garage doesn’t get breezy. Help!

    Reply
    • October 18, 2018 at 9:54 am
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      Hi Laura, maybe I should have said “airy” place to store the garlic bulbs. The basket gives it a little “breeze” or “air”, sorry about the confusion. Once you start growing garlic, you will never buy it again. Actually, everytime you open the garage it lets fresh air in, it’s not like we will put them in the wind, I hope this helps. Thanks for your patience, Linda

      Reply
  • October 31, 2018 at 6:30 am
    Permalink

    Linda,

    Did you know that within those garlic bulbs is a chemical called allicin? That’s where the aroma comes from. I bet you can almost smell the garlic, right?

    Garlic and other members of the Allium family that includes Onions, shallots, scallions and leeks all contain a bit of Allicin, with garlic being the most potent. I discovered this a few years ago when we were gifted our first fresh garlic by a friend, and did some research on it when one of our cats tried his best to get to the garlic, which it turns out is toxic to cats and dogs, with as little as one clove being a serious risk.
    We ended up tying strings to the plants and hanging them in our granary, where they dried up nicely

    Mark and I are rarely sick and I’m sure it has to do with the amount of garlic we put in our meals each day. I make a garlic soup to take to people who are sick to ward off severe colds and flu. When you feel that scratchy throat feeling, you may want to make this soup. I’m not saying it will cure a cold, but the warm soup may clean out the gunk in your throat and sinuses. My recipe is at the bottom of this post.

    The wife and I are also rarely ill and the garlic and onions may help; but, getting my several pneumonia inoculations and our yearly influenza vaccinations is I think, also necessary. I think I may try your recipe, since it does sound pretty good.
    We also love the garlic scapes. Chopped and baked/roasted on a cookie sheet with Olive Oil & Asparagus is one of our favorites.

    The best time to plant garlic is in the fall, about 4-6 weeks before your very first frost. Here in Southern Utah, our planting date is the middle of October.
    …..
    We usually harvest in June.

    Here the rule of thumb is that we plant on October 10th and Harvest on the 4th of July. I missed the date due to activities and weather, so we’re going to try in 5-gallon buckets in the green house and cross our fingers.

    Garlic Harvest and Storage

    You mention baskets, and after trying a lot of things and recently purchasing a ton of candy onions from the local Amish produce auction, I needed a good way to store them. In the past we’ve reused the mesh bags we get with citrus; but, these were all getting rather ragged, so I made a lifetime investment in ”Royal Green Plastic Mesh Produce and Seafood, 24″, Package of 100” for around $16.00 from Amazon with free Prime shipping. I’ve already handed out a bunch of these to friends who garden and share with me.
    https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Plastic-Produce-Seafood Package/dp/B017HJRZ9K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540988724&sr=8-1&keywords=Royal+Green+Plastic+Mesh+Produce+and+Seafood%2C+24%22%2C+Package+of+100&dpID=51dpsEH%252Bw0L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
    Sometimes a small investment helps a lot and weaving the garlic together might be a nice art project; but, takes too much time we can use elsewhere on the homestead.

    Reply
  • December 12, 2019 at 10:00 am
    Permalink

    5 stars
    Hi Linda. I have been growing the same Italian red, hard-necked garlic for about 50 (?) years from the initial head of cloves. I plant them all over my property. Nothing eats them.
    Most of all I nip the seed that will come out the top like a spike until it opens. Clip that off as soon as you see it and you will get a bigger head. Leave some to go to seed and always leave some heads in the ground to regrow, next year. The one’s you left to go to seed with sprout a head of tiny cloves. These can also be planted but it will take two years for them to get to a decent size. therefore it is best to start with the biggest cloves you can get for the ones you will be uprooting for use. The ones you left with regrow next year.
    I have given hundreds of heads of garlic to people for years. I also sold a lot at Farmer’s markets. The initial head of garlic i had growing from California to Montana. If you have good soil you can grow garlic. Poor soil and not enough water will lead to small heads. All you need is soil, water and feed. 2″ apart and 2″ deep. I have had garlic cloves sit on top of the soil in -0 temperatures and they survive anything. When you think of that it makes sense that when you consume garlic regularly it will help to keep you well. I am never sick. I do not get colds or flu. I say it is because I grow most of my food and eat lots of onions and garlic. I have lots of garlic growing in my flower beds as well.
    If you don’t get it all out of the ground, and you shouldn’t, leave it and let it do it’s thing. Happy gardening.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2019 at 10:16 am
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      Hi Diane, oh my gosh you are an inspiration to all of us!! I love this comment!! Oh my gosh, why wouldn’t we plant garlic? Linda

      Reply
      • December 12, 2019 at 10:56 am
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        You, my dear Linda are the inspiration. This forum you have set up for all of us to learn from you and others is a wonderful thing. Indeed, a gift to us all from you. Thank you. Thank you just for being.
        Diane

        Reply
        • December 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm
          Permalink

          Hi Diane, you made my day!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Linda

          Reply

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