To grow garlic bulbs, there aren’t many precautionary measures you need to take. Garlic is one of the hardiest vegetables you could find and is quite easy to grow as well. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to grow garlic bulbs in a patio pot or a garden; in winter or summer, garlic can thrive in any condition.
What is the right time to plant garlic bulbs?
The majority of the gardeners, especially the ones situated in the northern areas, prefer to grow garlic bulbs during October. The others tend to do it in December (on Winter’s Solstice, i.e., the shortest day of the year). People from the southern regions, however, like to plant garlic a few weeks ( 4 to 6) prior to the day of the last frost.
Planting garlic during the fall provides it with more time to grow. Resultantly, by the time spring comes, the garlic bulbs planted during the fall are already big enough to be consumed. If left unharvested, they would grow even bigger during spring.
What to do if the weather is too cold?
Even though garlic is quite hardy and can survive almost any kind of weather, exceptional circumstances do exist. Therefore, if it gets too cold or the snow doesn’t cover the plants well, you can always use straws or some other mulching material to cover and insulate the garlic bulbs.
Which garlic should be used to grow garlic bulbs?
There is no specific requirement for the garlic you need to buy to grow garlic bulbs unless you plan on growing a specific kind of garlic. Hence, you can use the garlic available at your local grocery store. That being said, the garlic available at grocery stores is often treated with sprout inhibitors which can leave a significant effect on its natural growth cycle.
Therefore, make sure the garlic you are going to use has not been subjected to these sprout inhibitors. You could also choose to go to a plant nursery instead of the grocery store to get naturally grown garlic. Otherwise, you could visit a garden center, or try the seed catalog, if you’re interested in specialty garlic.
The Ultimate 10 Step Guide To Grow Garlic Bulbs
We’ve talked about the right time to plant garlic, what to do if the weather gets cold, and where to get the right garlic from for our gardening endeavors. Now’s the time to get to the main question, i.e., how to grow garlic bulbs. Here’s the ultimate 10 step guide!
- Remove the bulb wrappers from the garlic bulb and isolate each of the cloves without removing their skin or wounding them in the process.
- Pick around 8 – 10 of the biggest garlic cloves from the outer layer of your chosen garlic bulb. When it comes to planting garlic, the bigger garlic cloves are the ideal choice.
- Now, choose the right spot on the ground to plant these cloves. Pick a place that stays under the sun for up to 6 hours every day. That’s because direct sunlight accelerates the growth process.
- Work your chosen patch of ground up to 10 inches in depth. Also, make sure the patch of land you choose to grow garlic in does not get waterlogged during the winter. Try to improve its drainage by adding sand or some organic matter to the soil.
- Once you’ve found the ideal patch of ground to grow garlic bulbs, place the cloves you set aside earlier into the ground. Make sure that the tips are merely 2 inches below the surface and there’s a distance of around 4 to 6 inches among the cloves.
- Use a mild fertilizer once every two weeks and pull out any weeds you may see. Otherwise, they’ll start absorbing all the nutrients.
- Keep the ground moist by watering the plants on a regular basis. However, in the later stages of its growth, garlic requires warmer weather and less water but that depends on the natural climate of your region. Therefore, you need to keep your local climatic conditions in mind when drying out the plant as it matures.
- Somewhere around 3 -4 months into the growth period, the green top of your garlic will begin to turn into a mix of brown and yellow. That is when you know your garlic bulbs are ready to be harvested.
- Before you begin to harvest the garlic bulbs, you need to check if they are even big enough to be harvested. Take out one of the garlic bulbs from under the ground and carefully examine it. See if the bulb has grown enough, whether the cloves are plump or not, and if there are 3 layers to your garlic bulb’s outer layer (wrapper/ papery covering).
- After making sure that the garlic bulbs are, indeed, ready to be harvested, start digging them up one by one. Start by loosening the soil around each bulb with a small garden trowel and then, take the entire plant out.
When all is said and done, you need to be very precise about when you choose to harvest your garlic bulbs. If you do it too soon, the garlic bulbs may not have grown to their fullest. And, if you do it too late, they may have already entered the next cultivation cycle.