Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Planting Garlic

When I mentioned that I planted bulbs this past weekend at Garden on Sherlock Street, I was including garlic bulbs in that list.
Garlic is one of the easiest edibles to grow.  I plant some type of hard neck garlic.  It makes flowers early in the summer that I cut off so more production goes into the bulbs.  It also makes deeper roots which keep it in the ground during freezing and thawing over the winter.
I saved five of the largest bulbs from my garlic harvest this past summer to be the seed for next year's crop.

I broke all the bulbs apart and planted the individual cloves.  I got about 40 cloves from the five bulbs.

I dug some trenches in the ground, spaced out the cloves evenly (point up) and covered them with soil and straw.  They are planted behind a cold frame that I have on our newest raised vegetable bed.

I spaded the whole raised vegetable bed except way at the end where the cucumber plant is still producing.  I buried most of the straw I had used as mulch leaving just a little bit on the surface to help retain moisture in the bed over the winter.  The buried straw will break down and feed the earthworms giving me rich soil for next year's vegetables.  You'll also see some tomato cages laying on top of the straw.  I use square tomato cages that are hinged to fold for storage.  I lay them on the vegetable beds over the winter to discourage the neighborhood cats from using the beds as litter boxes.  The cold frame does have lettuce and radishes seeded in hopes of a late fall crop.


  1. Probably a dumb question, but can I do that with a garlic bulb purchased at the grocery store???

  2. garlic is a great crop to grow, we use loads, and find it very productive and easy in the garden. Your raised bed looks much tidier than mine though. Digging in the mulch to enrich the soil sounds a good idea too.

  3. Thanks for the reminder that it's time to plant the garlic. I've had it on my mental to-do list for a week or two.

    I can't believe you still have cucumbers! Mine produced through the end of August/early Sept, which is a record for me.

  4. I have never grown garlic before. You make it look easy. Thanks for the post.

  5. Very interesting. I've never grown garlic before. Maybe you could share some of the ways you use the garlic in recipes.

    Hope you have a great day.

  6. Yum, is there anything better for flavor than garlic? Good advice. I especially liked what you wrote about using the tomato cages to deter cats.~~Dee

  7. Your garden beds look so healthy (as opposed to mine full of weeds).

    Great idea to keep the cats out of the beds, I may have to borrow it.

  8. This post reminded me that I had intended to try planting some this fall--I had ordered some last winter and was advised by the company that they only ship in fall in time to plant! Hope I can get that done! Enjoy yours!

  9. Dear Sherlock Street, I do love Garlic but have never grown it myself. I am inspired to try and, in the absence of a vegetable bed, I shall try it in a large pot.

  10. I really should try planting some garlic one of these years--thanks for some great tips. I also really like the idea of using tomato cages that can be folded up for easy storage as well as using them to deter cats--that's a constant problem at my house:)

  11. ~Rebecca
    Well.....I've heard some people have luck with it and some don't. I also think most garlic in the store is grown in warmer climates and is the "soft neck" variety which doesn't do as well in places that have winter. And, I've heard that some garlic in the store has been chilled so it will travel safely and has therefore already been "thru winter" so to speak. But, there is really nothing to lose trying it. I'd love to know if you have luck with it. I got my first seed from my in-laws who grow garlic so I knew it would grow well here and was in sync with the seasons.

    Thanks for checking out the garlic. It is amazing how much a person can use!

    ~Cherry Lane
    My cucumber hasn't been a big producer but has been steady. I'm keeping it going as long as I can.

    It is easy. I don't know why I didn't try it sooner. This is my 3rd year planting garlic.

    I use it in the tomato sauce in my very short recipe list in the right hand column and it seems like a lot of pasta dishes use garlic. I've also tried it as a pest repellent in the garden.

    I was surprised how effective the cages were with the cats. It helps a lot.

    Thanks. Good luck keeping out the cats.

    Good luck with your garlic. It's so easy I sometimes forget about it. It does need a little watering to do its best.

    It should do fine in a container. Just pick one big enough for the bulbs when they are full sized.

    Those foldable tomato cages have been great. I use them for peppers and cucumbers too. Next year, I'm going to try them with my vining squash plants.

  12. So well organized, and your garlic bulbs look a whole lot better than mine!


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