Weekend Gardener

Blog based on my best-selling ebook "The Weekend Gardener"- The Busy Persons' Guide To A Beautiful Backyard Garden by Victor K. Pryles

Monday, January 22, 2007

Growing Garlic

Thanks to Margorie Wilson in Appleton, WI, a reader of The Weekend Gardener for asking:

I'd love to try and grow garlic myself but don't know how. Is it difficult, or when should I plant?

It's very easy to grow garlic (Allium sativum) so it's surprising more gardeners don't grow their own. Garlic is a bulb, like the tulip, and needs the cold-winter treatment that Mother Nature provides. Like tulips, garlic can be planted almost anytime in autumn as long as the ground is workable.

The bulbs, in clustered segments, must be seperated before planting. The segments are then placed pointed side up about an inch below the ground in rich, well-drained soil. Full sun is best, but garlic can manage as long as it gets six hours of sun per day.

The toughest part seems to be finding a good garlic farmer from whom to buy cloves for planting. You can't use what you find in the supermarket because its been treated to keep it from sprouting. Organic garlic will sprout just fine, but its still worthwhile to buy locally if possible because these will adapt better to your area. Look in farmers' markets or specialty stores. You can also find them via mail order.