How to Plant Garlic for Delicious Culinary Rewards

Garlic has always been the plant that I recommend growing to anyone who doesn’t really have a lot of experience gardening. You can grow garlic, yes you! Even if you have a black thumb. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to gardening. Garlic is just that easy to grow. It’s the ultimate plant it & walk away plant. & the taste, oh the taste! Once you grow your own garlic you will never go back. I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago titled, Beginner/Intermediate Gardeners: 3 Best Tips for Planting Garlic, go check it out for quick garlic planting advice. I decided to put said tips into action & create this garlic planting tutorial because there’s no better way to advise someone than through pictures.

It’s about to go down.

Materials

  • Garlic bulbs (it’s best to buy bulbs from a garden center because garlic from the grocery store might not be able to produce new garlic)
  • Shovel
  • Garden Fork
  • Starter Fertilizer (I recommend Bio-tone Starter Fertilizer from Espoma. I use this stuff on everything that I plant.)
  • Water
  • Mulch (optional)

Method

  1. Separate the garlic cloves from the bulbs. Make sure to keep the papery layers on the cloves. Set aside.
  2. Find a sunny area in your garden, a full sun spot is optimal. Dig up the area with shovel & loosen the soil with a garden fork.
  3. Dig small trenches 18-24 inches apart, depending upon how many garlic cloves you have. Sprinkle starter fertilizer generously into the trenches.
  4. Plant your garlic cloves pointy-side up in the trenches, making sure to keep them 4-6 inches apart. Cover with 2 inches of soil if you plan to mulch, 3-4 inches of soil if you don’t.
  5. Pat down the soil firmly & water thoroughly. Add more soil if necessary.
  6. Cover with mulch a month later.
What I sight to behold. So much garlic at The Growing Place.

Tips

  • One clove of garlic will grow one bulb of garlic. Plan accordingly.
  • Only water garlic once, right after you plant them until spring.
  • Do not store garlic bulbs in plastic bags, this can cause them to rot.
  • I use leaves as mulch, it’s free & it decomposes which puts more goodies into the soil.
  • The garlic will start sending leaves out in the winter, don’t be alarmed, garlic is hardy.
  • Garlic will be ready for harvest in the summer. Read my garlic harvesting & curing tips & my garlic harvesting tutorial.
  • Save some of your garlic cloves from each harvest in the summer to replant in the fall.
I grouped the 4 types of garlic that I had together for the very purpose of taking this photo. This way I can remember where I planted what.

That’s really all you have to do! Plant the garlic in the fall, water it once & walk away from it until spring. We had a very rainy spring & summer this year, so I didn’t even have to water my garlic after it’s initial planting. Easiest. Plant. Ever. Cheapest edible plant too. Very little work will give you a huge delicious return.

Garlic cloves all laid out. I fudged a bit on the spacing, but meh.

I was in a bit of a rush planting these garlic cloves, so I wasn’t able to get a picture of the trenches, but you get the drift. Digging rows makes planting garlic so much easier than digging individual holes. Be sure to give the bulbs enough room to grow and make sure you plant them in a place where it will be easy for you to dig them up later. You can plant garlic as long as the ground isn’t frozen.

Garden centers have heavily discounted their garlic this time of year so you can get them for a really great price. I was able to buy my 3 bulbs for under $7 total. I added in a few of my garlic cloves that I saved from this year’s harvest and planted 30 total cloves. Next year these cloves will turn into 30 garlic bulbs for less than $7 since I already had all of the needed supplies. What a steal! You have to try this yourself. Summer you will thank you for planting garlic in the fall. Give it a go!

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