Growing Garlic

Good garlic is an essential flavor component for many, many cooks. If you’re envying your neighbors as they pull fresh garlic gleefully from their gardens about now, don’t. Growing your own from home is easier than you’d think–all you need is a few good cloves, some dirt and some patience.

Garlic in bloom - 19 September 2008
Garlic in Bloom / Marion Doss / CC BY 2.0

1. Get some garlic. You can start garlic from the heads you buy at the grocery store, but keep in mind that organic or minimally processed garlic will sprout better. If you’re feeling adventurous, try hardneck garlic from a seed supplier–it doesn’t keep as well as the soft-neck store varieties, but it produces delicious scapes come spring.

2. Get some soil. Garlic will grow in a container or the ground. Choose soil that drains well and make sure you have a good 18 inches for the roots. Make holes about three inches deep and spaced five inches apart.

3. Plant some garlic. Break apart the individual cloves and stick a large, healthy clove in each hole, pointy side up.

Worth noting: garlic is a bulb, which means it usually gets planted in the fall, weathers the winter underground and gets harvested in early summer.  For more about the best schedule and plan for caring for your garlic, read this article from The Daily Green.