Garlic growing in early spring
Tanja ... The Nitty Gritty Greenhouse ... How To Grow Garlic...
- Add amendments to your existing beds about 2 weeks before planting ... compost, manure, fish meal, alfalfa, and rock phosphates are all good amendments.
- Beds should be well draining and be in full sun!
- Plant anywhere from mid-Sept to end October
- Crack the garlic, separating the cloves gently from the hard middle part. Plant only the largest cloves, use the smaller ones for cooking. Leave the husks on the cloves! Do not crack more than 24 hours before planting.
- Optional Step fungicide/strengthener recipe. Soak your cloves for 2 hours before planting, in a solution of warm water, 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tbsp of fish fertiliser or liquid seaweed. Though my garlic tops seemed to grow bigger, better and faster, last year, than the bed not soaked in this solution, there was little difference in the size of the bulbs!
- Plant the cloves with the pointy end up, about 2 to 3 inches deep, and 6 inches apart. You can plant in rows or blocks, planting the rows about 8 inches apart. If you grow them closer together you will get smaller bulbs and cloves, though more of them.
- Water in beginning, once a week or two, till the rains start. Then water again in spring, as needed, once or twice a week.
- Cover with 4 to 6 inches of straw for added frost protection, if needed.
- Stop or slow down on watering towards the end of June as the stalks begin to yellow a bit.
- Once the stalks have dried/yellowed about half way up the stalks, or up to about 3 leaves... you can gently pull the garlic from the ground.
- Place the garlic, stalks and all, in the shade to cure for several weeks. Do not leave in the sun, or they will cook. However, you can begin to cook with it right away, the curing just helps it to store better/longer.
- When dry and cured, two weeks or more, remove the stalks and the roots from the garlic. Cool, store and share as needed. The larger bulbs can be saved for the next year's crop!
Garlic curing under the carport in July