We are officially in Springtime friends! Springtime is a busy time as we plan, organize, and begin planting new things. One of the vegetables we are planting is garlic. As I am married to a Brazilian, we go through a lot of garlic (yes, Brazilians love garlic with everything). Since we go through so much garlic, I am looking forward to growing our own!
Garlic is a hardy vegetable and grows easily in mid-fall or spring. Another benefit is that it takes up very little space, so you do not need to have a large garden to grow. It multiples in the ground from a single bulb, which you can purchase from the grocery store.
Garlic can withstand through a frost, in well drained, slightly acidic soil (pH balance of 6.5 to 7). If you want to do a quick test of your soil, check out our post on how to easily test your soil for cheap. Garlic grows in most soils, except a heavy clay (yes, looking at you, Georgia Clay).
The easiest way to grow garlic is from bulbs you already enjoy (from the grocery store works!). Separate bulbs for 2 - 3 days, ensuring that you keep the papery wrapping on each clove. When planting garlic from bulbs, plant about 6 inches below the ground and place a protective layer of mulch on top, the colder the environment the more protective mulch you will need to protect from frost. Fertilizing your soil with compost before will benefit anything you plant. Water your garlic every 3 to 5 days in
spring, be sure to not over water after July to prevent rot. Garlic will require weeding, just as other perennials.
The hardest part of growing garlic will be when to harvest. If harvested too soon, bulbs may not mature. If too late, the bulbs may have already opened. It should be harvest when the 2 bottom leaves begin to yellow and wither. This may happen between July - August depending on your climate and when you planted. We are planting in the Spring, so we can expect a later harvest.
Be sure to dig out bulbs and keep the papery skin, this protects the garlic from rotting. Store in a dry, place at room temperature. Do not put garlic in the fridge. Enjoy!
Once we harvest our garlic, I look forward to sharing some of our favorite recipes!