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In the garden… garlic

SchneiderPeeps: Growing Garlic

We are beginning to pull up our garlic. This year has been a little disappointing. I think I could have watered and weeded them a little more often. But that’s okay, I will probably have enough to can with my tomatoes and onions. Next year I will purchase bulbs specifically to plant. I’ve always just used the ones at the grocery store and they’ve done okay. But I think I might get better yields if I plant ones that I know weren’t sprayed with any kind of inhibitor.

Not only does garlic taste great, it also has some amazing vitamins and minerals in it such as magnanese, B1, B6 and C vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, copper and even protein. Garlic is thought to help with high cholesterol and with helping to prevent several kinds of cancer. Garlic also has anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Amazing, right?

garlic growing

See what I mean by weeding  and watering?

elephant garlic growing

Gabriel planted the elephant garlic and has done a much better job at tending to it than I have of the regular garlic.

Here’s what I’ve learned about Garlic

  • Planting time for our zone is Oct.1 – Nov. 30
  • Gently break apart the garlic head to get each clove. Do not “unwrap” the cloves.
  • Plant each clove about 2 inches deep and about 3-6 inches apart
  • There are softneck and hardneck garlic. Softneck will not send up a flower (called a scape) and is good for braiding. Hardneck is a little harder but will send up a scape and is not good for braiding
  • Elephant garlic is a very large head of garlic and has a milder flavor than other garlic
  • You will need to cut off the scape for the bulb to grow bigger – the scapes are edible

Pests and Problems

  • We really haven’t had any issues with pests and the only problems we have had with garlic is because of not watering and weeding enough.

Harvesting and Storing

  • Harvest garlic when when about half of the bottom leaves have died back
  • Try not to water for a week or two before harvest
  • Hang and let dry completely it might take 2-4 weeks – NOT in the sun
  • After they are completely dried out cut off roots and leaves and take off the outer layer of dried skin
  • Garlic should be kept in a cool dry place but not in a root cellar or refrigerator

To see what others are growing, check out Tuesday Garden Party and Frugal Gardening 101.

You can find information about other fruits and veggies by searching clicking on the In The Garden tab up top or in The Gardening Notebook.

Thanks for sharing with your friends!


Friday 27th of November 2020

I have read that you should soak cloves for 3 days to improve germination. What are your thoughts?

Angi Schneider

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi Pat. I've never heard that. Honestly, I would worry about them getting mushy. The only seeds I soak are ones that are big and hard, like legumes.

jo n

Sunday 20th of July 2014

I've always wanted to try growing garlic but I was never sure where to start. Your list above gives a great check list. Thank you

Rachel E.

Friday 31st of August 2012

Thanks! I think I might just do the garlic thing.

The Schneiders

Saturday 18th of June 2011

If the store puts it in the refrigerator then the garlic thinks it has gone through a winter and then when they put it out to sell it, it thinks it is spring and time to sprout. I don't know what the best thing to do with store bought garlic. You could always just plant the cloves that are growing and see what happens.


Thursday 16th of June 2011

I've always kept my garlic in the refrigerator. Maybe that is why it keeps sprouting and growing before I can use it. haha Thanks for the info.