This is my first year to plant garlic, thankfully my mom has been planting amazing garlic for several years and gave me some awsome pointers to get me going. I was able to plant a year’s worth of garlic and had a blast doing it. Heres what I learned.
- Plant in the late fall. You want your garlic to be exposed to the winter cold. For me I got a bit of a late start and had to use a cold frame to start the garlic and took the cold frame off when they were large enough. I wasn’t worried about less time exposed to the cold because here in Prescott, Arizona we have a shorter growing season due to the 5,000 foot elevation.
- You can plant the individual cloves with or without the skin.
- You can use store bought garlic but it is sprayed with a chemical to prevent sprouting so be sure it has already sprouted before planting.
- Plant them 1/2 inch deep with the end that sprouts up and the rough flat end that attaches to the bulb down.
- The soil should be slightly damp but not overly wet. Water the cloves once a week to keep them slightly moist, more or less depending on your climate.
- After you see the shoots emerging, mulch with 5 inches of mulch for the winter. Living in dry Arizona there wasn’t much mulch but I scrounged up enough leaves from my one elm tree to make it work.
- Let them over winter, then watch them grow until two or three of the outside shoots turn yellow and begin to droop. Then you’re ready to harvest and enjoy fresh juicy garlic.
My favorite use for fresh garlic is rubbed on toast. The fresh garlic is more aromatic and juicier and so lovely on toast by it’s self or with cheese, or tomato, or prosciutto, or pesto, or hummus or…ok you get the point. It’s real good.
My second favorite is with pasta and olive oil. It’s a super simple recipe but those are usually the best right? Just add about a third of a cup of olive oil and about eight cloves of garlic minced or sliced and pepper flakes if you like heat then just mix with the pasta and garnish with a fresh herb if you have it handy.