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How to Plant Garlic


Any gardener can learn how to plant garlic. The requirements for growing garlic are about the same as for growing onions, except that garlic has a longer growing season.

Garlic is started from cloves. Take a bulb, break it into cloves, and expect to get a whole new bulb from each clove. Garlic bulbs can be found in the produce section of grocery stores or they can be ordered from seed catalogs. Either source is fine. There are three easy steps to planting garlic.

• First, prepare a well-drained, loamy area of your garden and broadcast a few handfuls of 5-10-10 fertilizer.

• Plant the cloves of garlic, pointed end up, 2 to 3 inches deep. Space the cloves about 4 inches apart. Plant garlic about six weeks before the ground freezes. If you wait too long, you’ll get smaller bulbs. If you plant garlic too early, you’ll have too much top growth in the fall which will risk winter injury.

• Pull the garlic in mid-summer the next year when the leaves have begun to turn brown. After the garlic has been pulled, store it in a warm airy place for a few days to cure.

The garlic leaves can then be braided together or they can be cut off and the bulbs placed into mesh bags. Garlic can be stored where temperatures are above freezing but below 40 degrees or it can be stored at room temperatures above 60 degrees. Temperatures between 40 and 55 degrees encourage garlic to sprout.

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