I ask you, who doesn’t love garlic? Who? Well I for one really love garlic and lots of it in my cooking. Fresh garlic really intensifies the tastiness in any dish in my opinion and fresh homegrown garlic is even better. Garlic is super easy to grow. Anytime in October where I live (zone 8) is a great time to plant garlic. Let me show you how to grow garlic in your own backyard.
Keep in mind here I am not a master gardener. I am an average stay at home mama who likes to grow food in her backyard. I am a busy lady with lots of little ones and my gardening tactics are the simple, easy, good enough kind.
You can order garlic online from seed catalogs. I have not done this. It is definitely the “proper” way to go about things. But I have had pretty good success using organic garlic from Whole Foods.
I think ordering garlic from a seed company probably has its benefits like ensuring no crop diseases, being able to choose from a larger variety of garlics and making sure you get something that grows well in your area. But every time I look at the prices in the catalogs I just go to Whole Foods and go that route. Why do I choose organic garlic? Just to avoid any growth inhibitors that might have been sprayed on the garlic.
How to grow garlic in your own backyard:
How to prep your backyard soil:
Till it, weed it, fertilize it.
How to plant the garlic:
Once your soil is prepped and ready to go, you separate the heads of garlic. Plant them with the flat/chunkier side where the roots were once attached down. Push them about 2 inches down into the soil, spaced about 6 inches apart. Water them in really well.
Maintaining the garlic after it’s planted:
All you need to do throughout the winter is keep them watered and fertilize them a time or two with commercial fertilizer. Honestly I usually just forget about it and rain takes care of it.
I kind of forget about the fertilizer too but when it comes to mind I (maybe once or twice while growing) I like to use liquid fish fertilizer. Mix that in a watering can and water really well.
When it’s time to harvest:
When the tops start to die back (basically this means turning brown and wilting and falling over) you are ready to harvest the garlic. For me this around some time in May. When you pull the garlic up, make sure to get a firm grip at the base of the garlic close to the soil and tug, if you don’t get it just right it will break off, which is ok. You just have to use a hand trowel to dig the bulb out.
Storing your garlic:
For storage you need to let it dry out more and then store. Depending on how much you have I have stored loose bulbs in a basket or done a garlic braid.
If you are interested in some more simple mama gardening posts check these out: