In addition to garlic being mighty yummy and great for our immune system, it is also a wonderful pest (and vampire) deterrent. Adding garlic around your garden and in different beds will be super handy when it comes to the amount of pests you have to manage come Spring and Summer.
Break bulbs into individual cloves right before planting. Leave the papery skin on.
Plant 6-8″ apart and 3-4″ deep in well drained soil.
Water gently to settle the soil
Mulch the bed well with 3-6 inches of weed-free straw, hay or cut grass (this will also assist in easier harvesting in the Summer and deterring critters such as squirrels). Even as air temperatures drop, the soil will stay warm enough for the newly planted cloves to establish roots before the ground freezes.
Sometimes you’ll see some green shoots form in fall; that’s fine and won’t harm plants. They’ll begin growing in earnest in spring. If your soil needs a boost, add organic compost or all purpose fertilizer before planting.
You can soak the garlic cloves in a fish emulsion or liquid kelp fertilizer overnight before planting to improve health of the cloves. Fertilize again in the Spring. Harvest in early summer, generally around the 4th of July, or depending on when half of the leaves have died.
Each leaf above ground indicates a layer of protective paper wrapped around the bulb. A reliable harvest indicator is when half the leaves have died off, and half are still green. The leaves start to die off from the bottom up.
Stop watering 2 weeks prior to harvest and do not wash your garlic or remove the bulb wrappers after harvesting.
To store garlic, the process is calling curing. Leave the stalks and roots on the bulbs and either bundle 8 to 10 garlic stems together, tie with twine, and hang bulb-side down in a cool, dark space, like a basement, or lay the garlic flat on a raised screen in a single layer. Allow the bulbs to cure for three to four weeks.
Varieties Available at Urban Earth:
All of our garlic is Certified Organic and Grown in Oroville, WA.