Picture: Chesnok Red garlic bulbs hatching a few free range eggs.You may want to order your garlic to arrive a little earlier than you need it if you have variable winter weather.Garlic can grow well in cold climates including some parts of Alaska.Make sure to select garlic types (like softnecks) that need less cold vernalization to develop bulbs.Contact your state extension service to determine average soil temperatures in your area.Cold temperatures prompt the garlic clove to start growing roots.Meanwhile the clove is sitting in the ground not growing and susceptible to disease, fungus or hungry voles.Exposure to really hot weather in fall can reverse the vernalization process and result in smaller bulbs. .
Growing Garlic in USA
Plant the cloves (separated from the bulb), point upwards, deep enough to just cover with soil. .
the tricky matter of when to harvest garlic
TIMING IS EVERYTHING, they say, and with garlic harvest that’s especially true.When to harvest garlic–and how:.With garlic, though, waiting until all the leaves go brown will promote overripe bulbs whose cloves are starting to separate from one another, and the resulting un-tight heads won’t store as long.Garlic stores best when cured with its leaves on.Other factors that affect the timing of garlic harvest besides the weather, is what kind of garlic you planted.It would keep better than what I grow, but I like the bigger (though fewer-per-head) cloves of the hardneck kind….how i got to harvest: growing garlic.I’ve also written before about harvest and curing details here (along with the subject of multiplier, or perennial, onions—which I didn’t do so well with in my Northern garden but mean to try again, but that’s another Allium story for another time). .
How to Plant and Grow Garlic
And as a natural pest and fungus deterrent, it makes a powerful companion to a variety of plants, from herbs and veggies to flowers and fruit trees.Revered throughout antiquity for its cultural significance and healing potential, entire books and festivals have been dedicated solely to growing this vegetable – and many more to eating it!A bulbous perennial, garlic is a species in the genus Allium, with close cousins including chives, leeks, onions, and shallots.It grows 18-24 inches tall, and the head, or bulb, is a storage organ used for fuel reserves to prepare for adverse and wintery conditions.The flat, grass-like leaves and segmented bulbs are highly aromatic, and typically grown as an annual in herb and vegetable gardens.If left to grow, the umbels – or flower heads – open to reveal showy, star shaped blooms in shades of pink and white.While you can grow from these seeds, propagation from mature cloves is the preferred method, having the best success rate and usually resulting in larger bulbs.While growth is simple and straightforward, garlic’s signature taste is bold and complex – one of the reasons why it’s beloved in almost every global cuisine.It’s harder to braid hardnecks, but you get a different bonus from this subspecies: the delicious scapes, or flower stems and buds, a culinary darling that we’ll get to later!Some studies, like this review from the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine published in 2014, show that allicin exhibits powerful antibiotic and antimicrobial effects, such as killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.An extensive, multicultural tale of epic proportions, in its wild form, it was first used as a food source by our foraging ancestors.Domesticated and cultivated in the Middle East some 7,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, and numerous others embraced it as an irreplaceable condiment, food, and even medicine.The first recorded reference circa 1550 BC is found in the “Codex Ebers,” a medical text used by priests in ancient Egypt.In India, it was an important and powerful Ayurvedic remedy – Ayurveda being a healing tradition that is still practiced today, utilizing both food and herbs as medicine.For more information on the fascinating history of garlic, check out journalist Michael Castleman’s “The New Healing Herbs: The Essential Guide to More than 125 of Nature’s Most Potent Herbal Remedies,” available on Amazon.Annual growth from cloves, the individual bulb pieces, is the preferred propagation method of both commercial growers and the home gardener.Choose large, firm bulbs free from brown patches, soft spots, or shriveling, and with the exterior paper tunic still intact.One of the first crops to emerge in spring, garlic thrives in well-draining, fertile soil with a loamy texture, and requires full sun to produce the biggest bulbs.The ideal conditions to stimulate bulb formation require exposure to 40-50°F temperatures for a period of 6-12 weeks over the winter months.Vernalization occurs naturally in regions with cold winters, but in milder areas, several weeks of storage in the produce drawer of your refrigerator will provide the required temperatures and humidity levels.Fall sowing is optimal in September and October in most regions, with the end of November being a typical cut-off date for planting.Spring sowing is not recommended because bulb formation halts in hot temperatures, and garlic requires a long growth period.This late growing period gives them a nice head start, with explosive growth triggered by warm spring temperatures.A raised bed improves drainage and can be beneficial in areas with high rainfall levels or heavy soil.Bulbs require only moderate to average water levels, and benefit from a thick, 6-inch layer of dry mulch such as clean straw, evergreen boughs, or fern fronds added when you plant them.In summer, adding a layer of mulch helps to retain moisture, maintains cool soil temperatures, and keeps weeds down.Garlic tends to struggle in tropical and sub-tropical growing zones, due to excessive humidity, moisture, and rainfall.One of the most effective companion crops for the garden, garlic’s high sulfur signature is a natural pest and fungus repellent.A soil borne fungus, avoid planting wounded or damaged cloves, and rotate allium crops annually to reduce the chance of infection.This fungal infection is the result of poor storage of seed stock, and planting wounded or bruised cloves.This disease is exhibited by fluffy, fuzzy fungal growth on the stem and bulb of plants that quickly causes them to rot and die.Hot summer weather triggers bulb maturation, shutting down foliage growth in preparation for dormancy.Curing is the term for the thorough drying required for flavors to develop fully, and it helps to ensure a long storage life, free from discoloration and rot.Or, you can clip them off after harvest – just make sure you leave 7 or more inches of stalk attached to the bulb, which will help it to cure by drawing moisture away from the cloves.If you clipped your garlic instead, store it in loose piles in containers that permit airflow – preferably in breathable crates, boxes, or shelves.Check the progress daily – once the paper-like skin starts to peel away but the cloves still feel firm, you’ll know they’re ready.You can then cut off any leftover plant material and store as you like – in a dry basket in a cool, dark cupboard, or in a paper bag in the fridge.Being careful to keep them intact and without breaking them up into cloves, set aside the largest heads in a dark and dry place for use as seed next year.Crush, slice, mince, chop, or throw whole cloves into your desired dish for a punch of added flavor.For the ultimate French fry or veggie dip, try Foodal’s homemade garlic aioli – it’s full of delicious flavor.Some studies (like this one) have found, however, that a cold-water press of the cloves, such as in a warm or cold tea, can retain some allicin, and may work as a mild antimicrobial tisane.According to this study, consuming garlic regularly as a culinary herb provides allicin and other beneficial phytonutrients that may boost health and immunity.The bulbs also contain another potent compound called ajoene, with some studies pointing to its anti-tumor and diabetes management possibilities.Among herbalists and alternative medicine practitioners, there is a lengthy tradition behind garlic’s use as a topical antiseptic, cold and flu fighter, digestive healer, and tonic – and it’s still employed by some naturopaths for combating various ailments, even stomach ulcers and parasites.With your own bulbs to enjoy straight from your yard, you can feel the amazing benefits, satisfaction, and ownership of having nurtured your very own plants – and oftentimes, growing your own makes for even tastier and healthier food! .
How to Grow Garlic in Containers
One winter at my home in Alaska, I finally decided to start some indoors in a container, starting with organic bulbs I bought at the store.All About Garlic.It’s easy to grow and the mature bulbs have a long shelf life when cured, or dried.Why Choose Container Growing.You might be wondering why you should grow garlic in containers at all.To start, you’ll need a container that’s at least eight to 10 inches deep.Cloves must be planted four to six inches apart, so keep that in mind when you’re selecting your container.Check your garden soil with a soil test to find out if it has the right pH for your cloves.How to Grow.Or, you can do what I did: buy organic bulbs from the grocery store and propagate them at home.The reason you need organic bulbs in this case is that conventionally grown grocery store garlic is sometimes sprayed with a growth inhibitor to prevent it from sprouting.Keep in mind that you’ll usually only find softneck varieties at the grocery store.They’re also ideal for gardeners in Zones 7 and below, because these varieties need at least six to eight weeks of cold exposure below 45°F before they will sprout.If you don’t live in an area with temperatures that dip to 45°F or below during the winter, you can still plant hardneck varieties.But since you’re growing in containers, you can plant at any time, especially if you choose to purchase prechilled bulbs that are ready to go.Grocery store bulbs or those that have not been prechilled need to go into a cool basement or stay outside in cold temperatures for eight to twelve weeks before coming back into the sun and warmth for growing.You can plant them at any time and grow them indoors if it gets too hot outside (above 90°F) or too cold.But first, let’s find out how to plant your cloves!Planting Garlic Cloves.For fall-planted softneck or hardneck varieties, put your container outdoors as soon you’ve planted it, in a sunny location.Make sure the location where you’ve placed your containers consistently has enough sun, move them if necessary, and give them 1/2 to 1 inch of water every week.This is where you’ll benefit from container growing: simply move your containers to a sheltered area or even indoors after a day or two of rain.You can stop watering hardneck varieties after the first frost.While the water may not freeze inside your container, it’ll be cold enough to start the vernalization process, during which time the plant does not need water.The plant will start to form bulbs underground once the soil starts to warm up in the spring, but if the soil gets too hot, bulbs can stop growing before their time, leaving you with small or underdeveloped bulbs.You can even try your hand at making a garlic scape pesto.That’s what’s so beautiful about the stinking rose: it doesn’t just deliver bulbs, but hardneck varieties also give you scapes and even lovely flowers….Provide 1/2 to 1 inch of water weekly.Here are two ideal varieties that you can propagate at any time in pots or planters: Hardneck For full-bodied cloves that peel easily, try growing a hardneck variety.I’ll definitely be adding this cultivar to my container garden this fall.‘Siberian’ Plant in the fall for a harvest the following summer, after about 240 days.Better yet, if you vernalize the bulb yourself in the refrigerator for eight to twelve weeks prior to planting, you should be able to harvest yours in about 90 days at any time of the year.If you plant it in the spring or summer, you can harvest after 90 days whether you grow it indoors or out.For an outdoor fall planting, expect a harvest in about 240 days.Managing Pests and Disease Since you’re growing your garlic in containers, you won’t have to worry much about many pests or diseases coming up from existing soil or neighboring plants.If all of the plants in a container are infected, toss plants and the dirt, and disinfect the pot.Each plant may mature at a slightly different time, so don’t feel pressured to harvest them all at once.Get more tips on harvesting your garlic here.Curing Garlic.The point of curing is to allow all of the moisture to drain out of the leaves and stalk, and into the cloves themselves. .
Planting Garlic in the Spring: Grow Big Bulbs From Spring-planted
If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.When the weather warms in spring the plants can then shoot out of the ground and start putting on fresh growth.The plants produce a central stem, called a scape which gardeners typically snap off in early summer in hopes of promoting large bulbs.Softneck garlic doesn’t have a stiff central stalk and can be braided for convenient storage.The plants form slender stalks with bright green leaves and small bulbs.You can eat the whole plant with the most tender leaves, stalks and bulbs ideal for salads, sautés, pastas, and other dishes that benefit from a garlicky kick.I’ll cover all that below, but it’s important to note that your spring-planted garlic bulbs will likely be a bit smaller than those planted in the autumn.Spring-planted garlic needs a couple of extra weeks to catch up and is harvested in mid to late summer.Hardneck garlic requires a cold period, called vernalization, to divide and form into bulbs.When you plant garlic in the fall, Mother Nature takes care of vernalization over the winter.However, garlic planted in the spring may not receive enough exposure to cold temperatures for this process to happen.The good news is that you can vernalize garlic before spring planting to promote bulb development.Check the garlic weekly to ensure there isn’t a build up of moisture or mold forming.Softneck garlic can also benefit from a vernalization period and should be placed in the fridge for two to three weeks before planting.Garlic seed (which is just bulbs or cloves intended for planting) is easy to source in the fall.However you source your spring garlic, buy it as early as possible so that you have time to give the cloves a cold treatment.It may seem very early to be planting a crop outdoors, but remember that garlic is cold hardy and requires a chilling period.In the past, I’ve taken advantage of a February or March thaw to tuck more cloves in my garden.I’ve found growing my garlic crop in raised beds has resulted in healthier plants and larger bulbs.Give the garlic bed a deep watering to ensure the newly planted cloves have all the moisture they need to start growing roots.Garlic is a fairly low maintenance crop but you’ll want to put a bit of extra TLC in your spring-planted patch to encourage the largest possible bulbs.If the weather is hot and dry grab your watering wand and irrigate the garlic bed every seven to ten days.If the weather is hot and dry grab your watering wand and irrigate the garlic bed every seven to ten days.Feed regularly Garlic is a heavy feeder and appreciates a rich organic soil.This promotes healthy leaf growth which in turn helps the plants form large bulbs.This promotes healthy leaf growth which in turn helps the plants form large bulbs.Garlic is ready to dig when the leaves on the bottom half of the plants have turned brown.As noted above, spring-planted garlic requires a couple of extra weeks in the garden for the bulbs to size up. .
How to plant garlic in the spring
But it’s a different growing and harvesting experience than if you plant garlic in the fall.Planting garlic in the spring leaves less time for garlic to grow, so spring garlic will be smaller than its overwintered counterparts and will not have the classic cloves.Garlic in the spring or spring garlic?Another option for garlic planted in the spring is to harvest it as spring garlic, otherwise known as green garlic.How to plant spring garlic.Whereas you normally would want to plant the best and hardiest cloves in the fall to grow garlic bulbs, you can plant smaller cloves if you are planning to harvest the plant at the end of the spring for green garlic.“The other thing I would say is avoid planting in areas where you had members of the allium family grown in recent years,” Snyder said (other alliums include onions, scallions, leeks and chives).How to use spring garlic. .