What Are Some Tips for Planting and Harvesting Garlic?


Quick Answer

Before planting garlic in the autumn, loosen the top 6 inches of soil, and work compost and 10-10-10 fertilizer into the soil. Plant the cloves 2 inches under the surface of the soil with the flat end of the garlic clove pointing downward. Allow 4 to 6 inches between each clove. Cover the cloves with a thick layer of mulch to protect them from freezing temperatures. After the last frost, apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil to promote growth.

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Full Answer

When planting garlic, choose a location that hasn't been used to grow onions or other members of the allium family. Apply a fresh layer of mulch to the garden in spring, and begin watering the garlic regularly. Cut the stalks off the garlic in late spring to encourage bulb growth. Use the stalks, or scapes, in stir-fries and other dishes. In July, stop watering the garlic, and remove the mulch.

Harvest garlic when the bottom leaves of the plant turn brown, but the top of the plant is still green, by digging the bulbs out of the ground with a spading fork. Move the newly-harvested garlic bulbs to a shady location to cure. Do not remove the stems. After two to three weeks, braid the stems of the garlic together, and hang the garlic in a cool, dry location that has adequate ventilation.

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