Pantry to Garden – Growing Garlic

Growing Garlic

Growing Garlic

A few weeks ago I posted about how to use potatoes that had gone bad, or sprouted, and turn it into an advantage. The same thing can be done for garlic. Everyone’s cut into a clove of garlic to see that green sprout, or the germ, already growing out of the middle. If planted, this one clove of garlic will grow an entire new head of garlic. Most garlic comes from China, is bleached to get that white paper look we’ve all come to associate with store-bought garlic, it’s had to sit in a quarantine for a number of weeks, and a lot of Chinese farmers fertilize their fields with raw humanure…that’s right…human-manure. No thanks!

Garlic prefers to be planted in late fall or early spring, so the next time you find a head of garlic has already germinated, here’s what you do:

1. Separate the larger cloves (the smaller ones in the middle are good for eating, once the germ is removed – but won’t make it in the garden)

2. Plant the cloves, butt-down, in a garden with full sun and very loamy soil. 5 in. from other cloves, and 3 in. deep.

3. Water with about 1 in. of water a week.

4. Be diligent about weeding. Garlic does not do well with competition.

5. When the plant begins to flower, cut off the flower. This will focus more energy on growing the bulb, instead of creating the flower.

6. Once the plant above ground dies, the garlic is ready for harvest.

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