Step 1 - Buy your garlic.
We bought our garlic online here. We researched to see which variety was best for our area and went with a hardneck called German Extra Hardy. It can withstand very cold winters (we can dip down into the single digits here in Missouri) and also is great for long term storage.
Step 2 - Prepare for planting.
Garlic needs plenty of sun to grow (at least six hours per day). We decided to plant ours in two smaller beds in the garden that get a good amount of sunlight. We cleared the weeds and worked the soil well until it was nice and loose while Sylvester supervised the operation.
Step 3 - Break apart the cloves.
The bulbs need to be broken up into individual cloves for planting, so we carefully separated each clove. I've read that it is best to leave the papery skin on the cloves to help prevent against rotting and disease, so we tried to keep the skin on when possible.
Step 4 - Plant cloves in rows root end down.
We dug a furrow about three inches deep, and planted each clove several inches apart. Each row was at least six inches apart, and we were able to get three rows in each of our two garden beds. We made sure there was at least two inches of soil covering each row of cloves.
Step 5 - Cover with mulch.
I cleaned out the coop over the weekend, so we used the pine shavings with composted chicken manure on top of the garden beds. This will protect the garlic from the winter cold and also prevent weeds from growing up (a necessity since garlic doesn't compete well with weeds).
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was, since for some reason I had it in my head that garlic was difficult to plant and grow. I've read that garlic actually doesn't require much maintenance, so I'm hoping for a good harvest next year. We'll definitely keep you updated on the progress!
Do you grow garlic in your garden?
Shared with From the Farm Blog Hop, Backyard Farming Connection Hop