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Garlic

The simple little clove of garlic can make such a big impact on a recipe.  It's so

 

 

easy to grow, even in a small space.  I grow two kinds, a hardneck and a

 

 

softneck (considered a braiding garlic).  I have saved garlic bulbs for

 

 

planting for years and since have lost the names, but there are several great

 

 

companies that can provide valuable information on the varieties and what

 

 

to plant in your time zone (source).  

As you can see crosssection of the garlic bulb above, there are many sizes of

 

 

cloves contained in it.  The larger cloves are the best ones to plant.

Tips for Growing

•  Plant in the fall.  This is suggested for all garlic because they need the cold to

   produce the best bulbs.

 

•  Get your garlic cloves from a good source.  I found that out the hard way.  

•  Make sure to plant root side down.  That is one of the biggest mistakes so

 

 

   plant with the pointed side up.

•  Plant the largest cloves first.  Most garlic bulbs will have a combination of

 

 

   small and large cloves; the largest cloves produce  the best bulbs.

•  In my zone, I plant about 2-inches deep.  I then cover with several inches of

 

 

   straw.  Sometimes I will use pine straw if I have it.  

•  Make sure the soil isn't too wet or too dry.  Both of those conditions will

 

 

   reduce the yield.

•  Harvest at the right time.  The lower third of the leaves will have turned

 

 

   brown.  It takes a couple of months to cure properly.  I lay mine on a wire rack

   in a protected porch that gets cross ventilation.

The rules say to plant in the fall and I did in

 

 

the big garden, but since I had some

 

 

healthy cloves that I wasn't going to use,

 

 

I decided to put some in my planting bags

 

 

I did not take out the used soil, I just mixed

 

 

in some compost and natural fertilizer. 

 

 

My hand dibbler  made the holes easily.   

 

 

After coving the bulbs, I put a thick layer

 

 

of straw on top.  Now I'll wait and see

 

 

what happens.

A cross section of a garlic bulb that shows the size of the cloves inside.
Bulbs og garlic that have been properly cured.
garlicplanting.jpeg
Planting bag with garlic covered with straw.
The best garlic slicer from OXO.
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