Depending on how cold it gets where you are located, now is a good time to start getting some room in your garden ready for planting garlic. Garlic is a low-maintenance crop that isn’t cheap to buy at the store, at least not if you are buying organic. It can be preserved easily so that you can benefit from your entire harvest, and you can plant again from your own stock further reducing costs. Here’s how to get started.
Get Your Garlic
If you have the money and you are the nervous type, or if you have had problems with disease on your garlic before, then you should buy organic seed garlic that is certified disease free. If not, you can save about $20 by just going to your local grocery store and buying a pound of organic garlic to plant.
Garlic does best in full sun, so find some room in your garden that gets plenty of sun this time of year. Garlic requires good drainage, so mounding a little soil up, especially if you are not planting in a raised bed well help. If you have healthy soil you shouldn’t need to amend with anything but some compost. If you are planting grocery store garlic it is especially important to select an area that you did not grow garlic in last season. It would also help reduce the chance of disease to plant in several locations instead of one large plot.
Separate cloves from the bulb. Leave the papery layer on them. Plant them the same way they grew previously, root side down and pointy side up. Put them about 3inches deep, with about 4inches between each. Cover with soil and then add a thick layer of leaves for mulch and insulation.
I’ll post another article about harvesting and some of the options for preserving and processing garlic well before it’s that time of year.
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