A Quick Guide to Growing Garlic

Last year was my first year growing garlic, and I learned a TON. I always do a lot of research, but often we get mixed messages. Here’s the short version of a long story for you, so that you can get into the garden growing the world’s favorite bulb: garlic.

  1. When to plant: Fall.

    They take about 9 months to mature, so you’re in it for the long haul. Place them accordingly.

  2. Where to plant
    • Full sun, well-draining soil
    • Somewhere that won’t be bothered for nine months

  3. Companions
    • Do plant near: fruit trees, dill, beets, kale, spinach, potatoes, carrots, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, roses, marigolds, nasturtiums, geraniums.
    • Definitely plant near: chamomile (said to improve flavor), rue (said to drive away maggots), and yarrow.
    • Don’t plant near: beans, peas, asparagus, parsley, or sage as the garlic may stunt their growth.
  4. What variety to plant: Hardneck vs. Softneck Garlic

    There are two types of garlic, hardneck and softneck. Hardneck is better for cold Northern places, the bulbs are larger with smaller cloves, and you get scapes! Softneck garlic is better for mild climates, for braiding, and for larger cloves in a smaller bulb.

  5. How to plant

    You just push one clove in about an inch, pointy side up.

    Pro tip: consider soaking your garlic for a few hours or overnight in fish emulsion to infuse it with nutrients. I do this, Martha Stewart does this, and basically that means you need to also.
  6. Extras (fertilizer, mulch, water, etc.)

    Water often, fertilize in the Spring with something high in nitrogen like blood meal, and then STOP watering a month before harvest. If you have hardneck garlic and scapes, harvest those or else they steal from your garlic bulb development.

    Keep weeds out of the garlic patch, and mulch to keep water retained.

Ok, that is the quick and dirty my friends! Order your garlic now to get some in time for a Fall planting!

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