Winter is Coming: How to Plant Garlic

One of your last fall gardening projects should be planting Garlic. This should be done a week or two after the first hard frost, aka late October. The garlic cloves will then take a long winter nap before emerging in the spring. 

Garlic seed cloves can be purchased online through Seed Savers and are also available locally at Egg Plant Urban Farm Supply and Mother Earth Gardens. Do not attempt to plant cloves from the grocery store. 

Instructions Select a sunny, well drained area with plenty of organic matter (compost) in the soil. Do not plant garlic where other onion crops have been grown the past two or three years. This area should be large enough to plant two rows of garlic 15 inches apart. 

Break apart the cloves from the bulb but keep the papery sheath on each individual clove. Plant the bigger and healthier individual cloves 4-6 inches apart and 2 inches deep with the pointed end of the clove facing up. Cover cloves with compost rich soil and/or a three to four-inch layer of weed seed-free straw mulch. Garlic shoots will emerge from the ground in late March or early April. 

Check out our Growing 101 on, Picking, Drying and Storing Garlic & Onions.