Planting Garlic

Of the many types of wonderful herbs and vegetables we grow (or try to grow) in our own Home Harvest Kitchen Garden there is one we value most of all – Garlic.

We can think of no other crop that is as easy to grow, provides greater utility and saves more on our food budget than home grown garlic.

In our climate garlic is planted in the fall about a month before the soil freezes (read this as NOW!) in well drained compost rich soil.  Purchase your bulbs from a local garden center (grocery store bulbs may be treated with an anti-sprouting agent) selecting those that are large and firm.

One of the great things about garlic is that their natural growth and form requires minimal space in the garden.

When your bed is prepared, separate your bulbs into individual cloves and select the largest for planting (usually six (6) per bulb), set the smaller ones aside for use in your kitchen.

Plant your cloves about 3 inches deep, six (6) inches apart in parallel rows (the blunt end down, the tapered end up).  Top off the bed with a thick layer of straw, this will delay the deep freezing and allow your bulbs to become firmly established.

Here is what you do next….NOTHING!

Your garlic will be one of the first things up in early spring, the scapes will be ready for pesto and salads in July and your bulbs will be ready to harvest in mid-August.

It seems that every year we find another reason to grow more garlic.  Aside from daily kitchen use, Pat is an avid pickler…picklerist?  She makes a lot of pickles, salsas, sauces and jellies; we use a lot of garlic!

And we get it all for free, here’s how it works:

Year 1

  •  Purchase 3 bulbs – cost $9.00
  •  Plant 18 cloves
  •  Harvest 18 bulbs – worth $54.00
  •  Save five (5) bulbs to replant

Year 2

  •  Five (5) bulbs – cost $0.00
  •  Plant 30 cloves
  •  Harvest 30 bulbs – worth $90.00

It’s kind of like natures version of compound interest.

One last thing, this may be important, garlic wards off vampires, werewolves and zombies!

We always look forward to hearing from you so keep those questions, comments and suggestions coming.

Happy Halloween!

Pete LaPierre

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