Garlic is among the vegetables that you should bring to your fall garden. You know why? Planting garlic in fall allows the crop to start its root development early without giving it a chance to sprout leaves yet. So so when spring rolls around, these garlic plants grow faster and hardier. The planting time depends entirely on your climate and growing region. Normally, it lasts from mid-September to mid-October, but those dates may change if you’re growing in very short or very long growing seasons.
Our post today will let you know how to grow garlic in your garden in fall. It’s WAY easier to proceed than you think. If your garden is lack of room, you may plant your garlic in garden beds and larger containers. Just make sure to choose the right soil for them and give them proper care. And, don’t forget to start with garlic cloves purchased from a trusted gardening source. Let’s get started!
#1 Choose Garlic Varieties to Grow
There are three popular garlic varieties used for growing. Fresh California Garlic is a softneck variety that’s easy to grow and a prolific producer. Chesnok Red Garlic Bulbs is a hardneck variety that can be grown in fall and harvested in early spring – or planted in spring and harvested in mid to late summer. The last type is Elephant Garlic. It’s not really garlic at all but a bulb forming leek.
You can purchase garlic cloves for gardening at farm stores, garlic farms, and seed catalogs.
#2 Prepare Garlic Bulbs
Gently break up the garlic bulb to free all the cloves. Leave the cloves in their papery skin, but separate them from the bulb and from each other. Make sure not to damage the clove or tear the protective skin.
After that, you should remove any cloves that are pitted, moldy, squishy, or tiny. These won’t grow well in the garden and aren’t worth planting.
#3 Grow Garlic in Your Garden
Planting garlic is super simple. Dig the holes about three inches deep, and at least six inches apart from each other. Plant each clove in its own hole.
Add fertilizer, aged manure, or compost, to the garlic bed and water it.
#4 Mulching The Garlic Bed
You can use a variety of materials to mulch the garlic bed. Mulched leaves and straw are two of the most popular. Lay down the mulch in a thick 4-inch layer. This will help to insulate the garlic in the winter, conserve moisture, and keep the weeds at bay.
In the spring, garlic will be the first garden plants that sprout right through the layer of mulch.
#5 Harvest and Cure Garlic
If you plant garlic in fall, you can harvest it in the middle of summer. It’s ready to harvest when the outer leaves of the plant die off and turn brown.
To harvest your garlic crop, carefully dig each bulb out of the ground. Make sure to keep the green stems on the garlic and don’t wash it before curing. Lay each plant down flat in a row, then stack the next plants on top in a criss cross manner so the bulbs aren’t touching. Leave the garlic to cure in a cool, dry area with plenty of ventilation. In 2-4 weeks your garlic will be ready to store!