Garlic planting time is finally here, and it’s one of my favorite fall garden traditions. Like tulips and daffodils, garlic is planted in the fall and comes up in the spring. Winter is long and cold here, so by the end of February, the kids and I are more than ready to start looking for signs of spring.
One of the earliest arrivals is the garlic peeking its head out of the ground, giving us a boost of energy to make it through the rest of winter.
Garlic not only adds a gourmet touch to home cooking, it also adds a super healthy punch (The Health Benefits of Garlic). If your family likes garlic and you're ready to reap its many health benefits, but you’ve never grown it before, believe me, it’s easy and fun.
The Easy Garlic Growing Guide (see download form above) is an easy-to-follow checklist that walks you through the step-by-step process of how to grow garlic: 1) What You’ll Need; 2) When to Plant; 3) How to Plant; 4) In the Spring; 5) Harvest Time; and 6) Curing and Storing Garlic.
If you find yourself short on time, start small this first year. Plant 6-8 cloves from ONE garlic bulb this fall, and you will have 6-8 plants to harvest next summer. If you like, you can plant more next year!
It’s always fun to try something new!
If you're still hesitant, it might help to hear from others who once felt the same way. Here are the answers to a question I posed to new garlic growers:
Q: How did you feel about growing garlic for the first time?
“When you suggested I try growing garlic, I was worried that if I didn’t plant the clove at exactly the right height or distance, it wouldn’t grow. But I followed your step by step approach. and quite frankly, after planting and putting mulch on top, I forgot about it. Then I saw the sprouts in the spring, and it was very exciting. They grew into whimsical plants! After making Garlic Scape Lemon Butter, I was hooked. The bulbs I harvested lasted well into winter. I couldn’t wait to plant garlic the second year, and now I’m on my third year! It was easy and a beautiful addition to the garden. I’m so glad my eyes (and nose!) have been opened to the garlic plant!” (from Muffy O.)
“My daughters, ages 7 and 9, really enjoy spending the summer planting vegetables. Jan suggested we plant garlic because it is super simple and would be fun for my girls to grow. The girls were super excited about it, so we gave it a try. I let my kids put the cloves in the soil in early October, which only took five minutes. After we covered them with a little mulch, we didn’t touch them again. To our delight, by May our garlic was really growing! We used the scapes to make Garlic Scape Lemon Butter, a recipe that is amazing on everything from steaks to veggies. By July, the bulbs were ready to harvest. My kids dug them out of the ground and hung the bulbs in our garage to dry for three weeks. Our reward? Delicious, organic, homegrown garlic all winter long. We are ready to plant our garlic again this fall!” (From Lauren B.)
“I had no experience in planting garlic until you showed me that all I had to do was stick cloves in the ground, I must admit I was a little skeptical, but then spring came, and things started growing! All I did was follow the process step by step. By the time the second year rolled around, I had the confidence to do things all by myself!” (Cathy C.)
So, from my garden to yours, Happy Autumn! Please let me know if you're “in” on growing garlic this fall. I would love to hear your experiences.