Historical Use: Roman soldiers used to gobble down chunks of garlic before battle. They believed the pungent plant infused them with courage and heroic strength
It is Autumn! The air has a crisp chill and the leaves are changing into their elegant yellows, reds, and oranges. This could only mean one thing; time to get off your laurels and plant your garlic! For the beginning gardener nothing is easier than growing your own garlic.
Garlic likes loamy soil that has good drainage and a lot of organic material. Some shade is ok but garlic prefers full sun.
Plant the cloves with the skin still on and the root side down. 8″ is adequate spacing.
Place the cloves in the soil with 1-1/2″ – 2″ of cover.
Cover with mulch. (I use 4″-6″ of dried leaves. Autumn in the “city of trees” has an abundance of them).
The biggest cloves normally produce the biggest bulbs. Soaking the cloves in a mixture of water with a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid seaweed for a few hours will help combat fungus.
In the Spring make sure that the stalks get 1″ of water per week.
Stop watering June 1.
Stop fertilizing May 15.
Cut off the scapes for larger bulbs. The scape is the curled flower stalk.
When 1/2 to 3/4 of the leaves yellow and die, dig up the bulbs.
Tie about 4-5 bulbs together and dry in a cool, dry location.
Trim the roots with caution to not remove the skin. Trim the leaves to approximately 1-1/2″.
Store in a mesh onion bag in a cool, dry place (do not refrigerate) and enjoy!
For more information on garlic varieties check out these sites: