Hey garlic lovers - why not grow your own?!
All you need is a good source of seed garlic and a well drained, fertile spot in your garden.
Here are the top tips for seeding garlic that will lead to a great harvest the following July.
- Purchase good quality seed garlic. Look for plump hard bulbs with good sized cloves. 'Crack' your garlic, which means splitting the bulbs into individual cloves prior to planting. You will be planting an individual clove and not the whole bulb . So when you look at a bulb and it has 5-6 cloves, you can expect 5-6 bulbs of garlic the following year :)
- Choose a sunny location that has excellent drainage. I cannot emphasize this enough. Believe me, we have experienced poor drainage and like all bulb crops they cannot tolerate sitting in water - they will rot and the germination will be lost.
- Garlic likes compost rich soil, so consider amending your seedbed with good quality compost.
- The best time to plant garlic is from mid to late October for harvest the following July.
- Plant each clove up to 4 inches deep, 6-8 inches apart with the root end down and the pointy side up.
- Cover your rows of garlic after with 3-4 inches of mulch such as straw. This helps to hold in moisture and keep the weeds down.
- Enjoy watchingg your garlic emerge first thing in the spring!
- By the third week of June ,you will need to remove the tall 'scapes' which is the developing seed head. Simply snap the stems to remove and use in stir frys or make pickled garlic scapes - YUM!
- The importance of removing these scapes cannot be understated, as this will help to size up your garlic bulbs.
- When the bottom 4-5 leaves on the plant have dried ( by the end of July) your garlic is ready to be harvested.
- Pull each plant, and allow to dry in a dark, well ventilated area for 2-3 weeks to ensure it cures properly for excellent winter storability.
- Store in a dark, dry cool dark place for winter and enjoy all winter , and well into spring!