Growing garlic is something that can be grown by the beginner or the advanced gardener. It has been grown for 3000 years and was one of the first herbs to be used for medicinal purposes. It doesn't require a lot of pampering to get it to grow and be productive.
Where to get your bulbs
The bulbs you use can easily be found at your local grocery store. There is no real need to get them from a nursery or garden supply center. There are only a few things to look for when buying your seed bulbs. The first thing to do is to pick out the largest bulbs you can find that has as many cloves as possible. Look for white bulbs that are firm and free of any mold or signs of rotting.
Location to plant
Garlic is a very sturdy plant and can tolerate some cold very well. However, it doesn't hold up well to frost, the best time to plant would be after all signs of frost have passed in your area. They also need a lot of sun, so plant your garlic in direct sunlight.
Prepare your soil and plant
There are two methods for planting your garlic. The first one is to use the hill method, which is simply building up hills with a trench around each hill to hold the water. The other is a trench method that works rather well for garlic. With this method, dig a trench about 6 to 8 inches deep and plant right in the trench. The method you use depends on your personal preference.
You will need to add some compost and a little bone meal to help feed the garlic. The compost helps to keep the ground loose for the bulbs to form. You will need to plant the cloves with the pointed end up, about 1 inch deep. The rows should be about 1 foot apart. The cloves need to be 4 to 6 inches apart in the rows. Then, keep the ground wet until harvest time.
Care during growing
Garlic needs very little care while growing. You do need to keep all the weeds away from your plants so that the water goes to the garlic and not the weeds. It is recommended once a month to add a little bone meal or fertilizer of your choice. Otherwise, just continue to water frequently and keep the ground moist.
Time to harvest
The bulbs should be ready to harvest around August. You will notice the tops starting to turn brown and get dry. Now, it's time to dig your garlic up and lay it out to dry for a day or two. Make sure to leave the tops still attached to the bulbs while the bulbs dry. This helps the bulbs to form better. You want to lay it out on a surface where the sun can dry the bulbs and tops. After the 2 days are up, gather your garlic in bunches and tie them together. You can hang these and they will keep well just like this until you are ready to use them. They will keep this way up to a year or longer, depending on your climate.