Garlic is used extensively in both cooking and for medicinal purposes. It has a characteristic pungent flavor that mellows considerably with cooking. Growing garlic in the home vegetable garden is a must for anyone who loves to use fresh garlic cloves. It takes so little space to grow enough garlic to satisfy the needs of even the most avid garlic fans.
Garlic is a member of the Alliaceae family along with onions shallots, leeks, and chives. All true garlic is classified as Allium Sativum with two recognized subspecies; Ophioscorodon , or hard-necked garlic and Sativum , or soft-necked garlic. The leaves of the garlic plant are long and flat and along with the flowers on the head of the garlic plant are edible. There are many different varieties of garlic and all vary in size, color, shape, pungency and number of cloves per bulb.
Garlic can be grown in both cool and warm climate areas. In warmer climates garlic is planted in the late summer early fall where it will continue to grow in the cool fall and winter months. The plants will mature over winter and produce bulbs as the days lengthen in spring.
In cooler climates garlic cloves are planted in late summer early fall just as for in warmer climates allowing them to settle in before the ground freezes. The garlic cloves will remain dormant throughout the winter and will emerge early in the spring.
Garlic likes deep, loose soil that is well drained and has plenty of organic matter, heavy clay soils create misshaped bulbs and make harvesting difficult.
|Veggie Garden Dairy|
|Also Known As|
|Botanical||Family - Alliaceae, Genus - Allium, Species - A. sativum|
|Plant Type||Cool season - annual - root vegetable|
|Planting Position||Sunny position - Will do alright in partial shade, but you'll have to wait longer for a full crop. They require a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.|
|Seed Viability||1 year|
|Germination||40-80 F (4-27 C)|
|Growing Temp||50-70 F (10-21 C)|
|Seed to Transplant||Direct Plant Cloves|
|Planting Method||Direct Plant Cloves|
|When to Plant||Fall or Spring|
|Time to Plant||Before the first hard freeze in fall - Early Spring planting is possible, but definitely a second choice|
|Seed Sowing||Plant cloves|
|Plant Spacing||Plant cloves - spaced 3-5 inches (7-12 cm) apart in rows 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) apart|
|Soil Conditions||Well drained - Moderate to high organic matter - Medium fertility|
|Fertilizer||Medium fertilizer needs, 3-4 quarts per 100 sq feet (3.3-4.4 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer , same rate for each side dressing.|
|When to Fertilize||2 weeks before planting - in the spring when plants are 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) tall|
|Days to Harvest||90-150 days - depending on conditions and variety|