Planting garlic has evolved into my favorite mid-autumn chore. When the rest of the garden either has been or soon will be nothing but a memory, here we go with something new going in. It makes me feel like I’m getting more out of my garden. On top of that, more than half of what I’m planting this year is garlic that I saved from this year’s harvest. In fact, it’s on its 4th generation on my plot. That feels good.
Garlic has few demands for the gardener. It wants loose soil, a little fertilizer, a little mulch for bitter winters, good drainage and water only when it is really, really dry. In my neck of the woods we harvest in July, just about the time our real dry weather starts, so I rarely have to water my garlic patch. While there are hundreds of varieties you can choose from, there’s also nothing wrong with just planting what you find in the supermarket.
Just separate each bulb into individual cloves and plant each clove 2 inches deep with spacing between the plantings 6-8 inches in both directions.
Pick it up, and your spacing is marked for 8 plantings at once.
The pointy end of the clove points up, and needs to be planted 2 inches deep…which is deeper than most things you plant. If you plant too shallow your bulbs won’t develop right. Here I’m using a piece of scrap wood to get the hole the right depth. Sad that I own a dibble to do this…if I could find it.
I’m planting two new varieties of hardneck garlic this year, and my 4th generation Chesnok Red.
I had some help preparing the bed for planting. Meet Salt and Pepper, recent additions to our little flock of groundskeepers.
They immediately starting rearranging the straw after I mulched the beds. Apparently, they know a lot more about how straw should be spread than I do. Every time I rake it back in, they kick it back out.