Growing garlic can be somewhat of a mystery to some people, especially those who have tried to grow it, and it just didn't turn out right. However, once a few key things are learned about growing garlic, it becomes a very easy thing to do! I love to grow my own garlic and never have to buy garlic. It is NOT hard to grow enough to last you the whole year. Here are the 3 main secretes to growing nice large bulbs of garlic:
- Plant the cloves in the fall. You only want to plant one little clove- not the whole bulb when growing the garlic. This will produce a bulb by the next spring. If you plant more than one clove in a single hole, then you will get 2 smaller bulbs the next year. By planting one clove, you will get a nice big bulb.
- Space them about 6 inches apart. Garlic dose not like competition so planting them too close to each other or to other plants will prevent the bulb from growing to the maximum size. We made the mistake of inter-planting them in the strawberry patch the first year we grew them, and they did grow, but the end results were very small bulbs the next spring.
[caption id="attachment_1483" align="aligncenter" width="456"] This is what happens when the garlic is left and not harvested, or planted too close.[/caption]
- Keep planting them every year. Over time, your garlic bulbs will get acclimated to your yard and by planting mostly large cloves, you will harvest nice big bulbs. Our bulbs have gotten bigger each year. I harvest them in June- dry them by hanging them over the cucumber trellis then in October I take a few bulbs and separate the cloves and plant enough to last all year the next year.
I do not worry about watering them through the winter and spring- just when it starts getting hot. However some warm dry climates might need to water them if there is no source of moisture for the bulb through the winter. Growing garlic is so easy and fun to do once you understand these three essential things, just remember to plan ahead as you are harvesting last years planting with garlic.