Growing Garlic

From left to right Bed #1 through #4
For the first time we decided to plant one bed over the winter.  Garlic was the appropriate choice to plant for the fall!  Last week we ordered 2 different types of garlic : German White & Tochilavri.   

"German White" Garlic is supposed to be an easy garlic to grow if its your first time planting garlic.   It is a very strong variety and easy to peel with a sweet flavor.  It grows well in most of the U.S. and loves cold winters in the north. 

"Tochilavri" Garlic also known as "Red Toch" has up to 18 cloves per bulb.  Its a good garlic to start with because each head produces many new plants.  It also matures earlier than other garlics.  It is a soft neck garlic.  

1. To protect the cloves from fungal diseases you can soak them in a jar of water containing a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid seaweed for a couple of hours before planting.  

2. Sow the cloves from mid November to December.  Press them 1 1/2" inches deep into the soil about 6-8" apart.   

3. Use about 6 inches of straw or dried grass clippings mixed with leaves as mulch.  You could see shoots growing in 4 to 8 weeks depending on the weather.  Bulbs will stop growing in the winter and start again in the spring.  

1. Make sure to water your garlic in the fall and you also may need to water it in the winter (unless you have lots of snow). 

1. Keep the mulch in place during the spring to help conserve moisture. 

2. Give garlic an inch of water a week during spring.  Stop watering by June 1st (or when leaves yellow). 

3. Fertilizer- As soon as leaf growth begins (around March) feed the garlic a mixture of 1 tablespoon liquid seaweed and 1 tablespoon fish emulsion mixed with a gallon of water every 2 weeks.
1. Around the middle of June the garlic will be producing flowery tops that curl and then straighten these are called scapes.  Remove the scapes (stalks) so that the plant can put its energy into producing larger bulbs. 

2. Keep the soil moist during dry weather (so that cloves will swell and store well) and pull the bulbs when the foliage has dried out and become brittle.  Allow the bulbs to dry and then cut off the stem.   

1. Around late June you will see most of the leaves turning a yellow-brown color.  Dig up each bulb carefully.

2. Bundle up the garlic with 6 or more bulbs and hang them in a shaded, dry, drafty area for 4 to 6 weeks. 

3. After garlic has dried trim off the roots.  To bag the bulbs cut off the stalks 1 1/2 inches above the bulb.  You can recycle old onion bags to store the garlic. 

4. Store your garlic in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Yes that is a bunny in front of the beneficial garden bed!

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