Planting Garlic

I wasn’t planning on planting garlic this fall, but I kept hearing about others planting garlic (from other blogs or podcasts), and I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun!

I made a spur of the moment decision to plant garlic two nights ago.

Garlic is a sort of unique crop. Unlike most vegetables that are planted in spring and harvested in late summer or early fall, garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in early July. It’s pretty easy to grow, too – just plop a clove in the ground in October, cover it with dirt, keep it watered until the following June (not hard to do in the PNW) and harvest in early July. You are supposed to buy seed garlic from a “reputable source.” Garlic from the grocery store is treated with something to prevent it from sprouting. However, garlic that I buy from the grocery store often sprouts if I don’t use it in time, and there are plenty of people online who say you can indeed grow garlic from grocery store garlic.

I swung by Trader Joe’s on my way home from work on Tuesday evening and bought a bulb of garlic. I was planning to buy an organic bulb because that bulb should not (in theory) have been sprayed with a chemical to inhibit sprouting, but the organic garlic at Trader Joes’ came in three-bulb packs wrapped in plastic (Why?! Why, Joe, do you use so much packaging??) So, I bought the conventional, plastic-free garlic (not sure which was the better choice in that situation). I broke off about a third of the bulb – 14 cloves to be exact.

Some of these cloves are quite small – will they still produce decent-sized bulbs? We will find out.

I cleared a small patch in one of the raised garden beds…

…and planted two short rows of garlic.

I decided to put some leaf mulch over top of the rows. Good idea/bad idea? I don’t know. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Done: 14 bulbs planted on October 26th.

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