Stop Buying Garlic – Here’s The Best Way To Grow An Endless Supply Right At Home

Stop Buying Garlic – Here’s The Best Way To Grow An Endless Supply Right At Home

Growing garlic at home can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to ensure a steady supply of this versatile and flavorful ingredient. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you grow an endless supply of garlic right in your own garden:

Selecting Garlic Bulbs:
Start by choosing healthy garlic bulbs or “seed garlic” from a reputable supplier or your local garden center. Avoid using garlic from the grocery store, as it may be treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting.

   Preparing the Soil:
Garlic thrives in well-draining, loose soil with good organic matter. Choose a sunny spot in your garden and amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility. Garlic prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil pH levels (around 6.0 to 7.5).

Planting Garlic:
Plant garlic in the fall, a few weeks before the first frost in your area. This will give the garlic bulbs enough time to develop roots before winter dormancy. Separate the individual cloves from the garlic bulb, but keep the papery skin intact. Plant each clove about 2 inches deep with the pointed end facing upward and spaced about 6 to 8 inches apart in rows.

After planting, cover the garlic bed with a layer of organic mulch like straw or leaves to protect the cloves during the winter and suppress weed growth.

Garlic needs consistent moisture, especially during its growing period in the spring. Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overhead watering, as it can increase the risk of fungal diseases.

Garlic is a moderate feeder, so it benefits from a balanced fertilizer application. You can use a general-purpose organic fertilizer or compost once or twice during its growth cycle. Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers, as they can promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of bulb development.

Removing Scapes:
Garlic plants may produce curly flower stalks called “scapes.” Removing these scapes helps direct more energy towards bulb development. You can use the scapes in cooking, as they have a milder garlic flavor.

Garlic is typically ready for harvest in late spring to early summer, once the lower leaves begin to turn yellow and dry out. Carefully dig up the bulbs using a garden fork, taking care not to damage them. Shake off excess soil and let the bulbs cure in a well-ventilated, dry place for a few weeks.

After curing, trim the roots and cut back the foliage, leaving about an inch of stem. Store the garlic bulbs in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Save the largest and healthiest bulbs for replanting in the next season.

By following these steps, you can enjoy an endless supply of homegrown garlic to use in your favorite recipes and stop buying it from the store. Plus, growing garlic is a fantastic way to connect with nature and experience the joy of cultivating your own food.