Growing Garlic

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I am always in search of some new thing to plant – and as I have an extra raised bed and follow the blog of wizbang Kimball I figured I would try my hand at garlic.

Generally when growing garlic it is planted in the fall. This is because it needs a cold treatment to do well. BUT… If you have a long growing season like we do here in the South, you can get away with planting in late February or early March. I decided to try it so my bulbs may not be as big as they would be if I timed it properly, but I won’t let that discourage me.

I don’t know how much you want to plant of garlic, but each bulb has several cloves and each clove will produce a bulb so basically each pound of garlic you plant will yield between 4-8 pounds of garlic at the end of the season.

I guess you could go to the grocery store to buy garlic bulbs and break the cloves down an plant them, but if you do that you won’t have any idea what type of garlic you are getting, as well as you may introduce plant diseases into your beds. The garlic farmer is going to keep his best garlic for next year’s seed – what you get at a big box store is probably going to be at the lower end of quality.

When you break the bulbs do to cloves you want to do it the day before or day of planting, but not any sooner because the cloves may dry out.

Inspect each cloves and remove any that are tiny, have blue mold, or look dried out. You only want to plant firm healthy cloves.

Standard procedure is to make a furrow about 3 inches deep and place the cloves six inches apart along the furrow.

Be sure to plant the cloves pointed end up. If you plant them upside down, they will grow but will be misshapen and smaller than they should be.

Make your rows 10-12 inches apart. Rake soil back over the cloves, so that they are covered by 2 inches of soil.

In my video I really did not pay much attention to this – I just dumped them in the bed and covered them with soil – we can call this an experiment on yield – or you can infer that I tried it before researching it, but personally I would prefer to call it an experiment….

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