We have had our own gardens for many years. On a whim a couple years ago, we started planting our own garlic. It is a neat experience, and different from the typical vegetables that we grow.
We live in New York, so planting garlic may vary depending on what region you live in. I am located in Upstate New York, which is zone 5B.
We plant our garlic in the middle of October, before the ground freezes. Ideally, you want to get the garlic in about 3-6 weeks prior to the ground freezing.
We plant in our garden beds, but in the ground is ideal. You want a sunny location and good soil that is well-drained.
For planting, you need garlic cloves. This is best found at a garden center, as garlic from the store can be treated or not necessarily suited for your climate.
When you plant, place the garlic 4-6″ apart and 2″ deep, with the pointed end up. I like to mark where we planted or at least where the rows are, so that when we come back in the spring to plant, we remember where we put the garlic.
For overwintering in colder climates, you should mulch with an organic matter like shredded straw.
First, you will see greens come up in the spring. You’ll want to make sure you keep your garden beds free of weeds.
The greens will continue to grow, and then on hardneck varieties, you will see a round shoot come up called a scape. We allow these to grow until they curl around and then you can clip them and eat them. By clipping the scapes, you are redirecting the energy back into the garlic bulb production.
Towards late July, we pull our garlic.
We grew about a dozen cloves of garlic this past summer. It was an easy process and it is nice to have our own homegrown garlic! If you missed your chance this fall, it is something to think about for your garden for next year.