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All of you need to know about planting garlic:

How to plant garlic?

  1. Garlic likes well-drained soil and 6-8 hours of direct full sun.
  2. Garlic prefers acidic soil with a PH of 5.5 to 6.8
  3. Plant garlic cloves 2 inch deep and 6 inches apart, pointed end up, 12 inches between rows.
  4. Mulch - with a layer of mulch to control weeds, moisture and insulate the soil during the winter months.
  5. Watering - keep the soil moist, but prevent excessive standing moisture.
  6. Fertilize - I use regular vegetable fertilizer (5-20-20) or just compost in early spring. Seems to be enough.

Growing Garlic as a Perennial

Although garlic is usually grown as an annual, if you have the growing space it can also be grown as a perennial. Once you plant garlic and let some of it go to seed, you will always have garlic.
I grow garlic as an annual, but find garlic growing everywhere including my flowerbeds.

  1. When the plants are 24 inch high, pinch off the flower buds (scapes).
  2. In August, pull the largest garlic plants out of the ground. Weed the area.
  3. In October; add 3-4 inches of mulch.

FAQs About Planting Garlic:

When do you plant Garlic?

If you live in Canada - in the fall
If you live in a warm climate - in the spring.
I also have planted garlic (zone 6) in early spring and it was fine.

Do you soak garlic cloves in water before planting?

No. If it grows in the bin when I don't want it to - I don't need to sprout my garlic. It saves me an extra step as well.

Can you plant garlic cloves that you buy from the store?

I have. However, our garlic at the grocery store comes from China and I wasn't sure if it would grow for me. It did just fine.
The next year, I went to the local farmers vegetable stand and bought my garlic from them, since we are growing in the same climate conditions. After that, I save my garlic for the next year's seeds.

How and When to Harvest Garlic?

  1. July or August. When the foliage turns yellow.
  2. Dig up garlic bulbs with a fork and allow it to dry under cover.
  3. Store in a dry and cool frost-free place for a couple of weeks. Once thoroughly dry it can last a year. Before my garlic starts to sprout, I peal and freeze them to preserve for easy use during the winter.

How many garlic varieties are there?

  1. Softneck garlic (Allium sativum)
    Known for its mild flavour. It's perfect for braiding (soft neck) and typically grows better in warmer climates. Almost all garlic sold at supermarkets are softneck garlic.
  2. Hardneck (Allium ophioscorodon)
    Has stronger flavour. It will send a flower stalk in the late spring and that's where we get garlic scapes from - for stir-fry and chopped in salads.

Can I grow garlic in containers?

Yes, you can grow garlic in containers, make sure the container is deep enough for the bulbs.

What is garlic scapes?

I googled a picture of garlic scapes for you. I usually remove them when I see them, so the garlic plant will put its energy to grow a bigger bulb during the growing season.
A garlic scape is the garlic flower talk that grows about 8 inches to 2 feet tall and produces seeds and bulblets. Hardneck scapes bublets are edible and may be used for seed.

Old time Garlic Remedies:

Garlic Tea

Add several chopped cloves of garlic to 1/2 cup of boiling water and let it steep for 6-8 hours. Gargle for a sore throat or drink it to ease flu symptoms.

Garlic Cough Syrup

Add 1 pound of sliced garlic to 1 quart of boiling water and let it steep for 12 hours. Add sugar or honey, and apple cider vinegar boiled with caraway and fennel seeds until the mixture reaches the consistency of syrup.

Garlic Oil - Home Brewed Pest Control:

Finely chop 10-15 garlic cloves and soak in 1 pint of mineral oil for 24 hours.
Strain and spray as is, or dilute with water and add a few drops of soap. Test it first, just incase it's too strong for your precious plant. :)

Garlic Butter
This is good on steak or garlic bread.

  1. Boil in little water for 5 or 6 minutes or roast in the oven until the garlic cloves are soft:
  2. 1 to 3 cloves of garlic
  3. Drain, crush and pound well in a mortar with:
  4. 1/4 of butter
  5. Makes 4 servings

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garlic harvest