Sunday, October 31, 2010

Garlic, garlic, garlic

We finally got around to planting our garlic today.  It should have been in the ground a couple of weeks ago, but life gets in the way sometimes.  We wanted to put out a big garden this year, but time slipped away from us.  So we are gearing up for next spring and getting some things planted, some things tilled (he finally agreed that we need to till up the pasture), and getting a jump on things for next year.
Garlic needs a longer growing season than most plants, so you must get it in the ground in the fall.  It will sprout (hopefully) and then overwinter in the ground.  In the spring it will continue to grow and will be ready to harvest around the first or second week in July.
We have talked for years about planting garlic, but never got it done in the fall.  So this is a new experience for us and, like most new things, you have to test the waters and experiment.  I ordered 5 varieties of garlic from 2 different companies.  I order 3 varieties from Cook's Garden, and 2 varieties from the Garlic Store The 3 I got from Cook's Garden are softneck varieties and the 2 I got from the Garlic Store are hardneck varieties.  The hardnecks really do have larger cloves and they looked yummy.  I hated to put them in the dirt --- but, ah, the hopes of a bounteous harvest next summer!!!
Our garlic sets, waiting for us to plant them.

When you order garlic sets, they actually ship you cloves of garlic -- just like you would buy in the grocery store.  I really wanted to chop some up and have a 'tasting' - but I also wanted to plant as many as I could for more plants next year!!!  You break apart the individual cloves and plant them separately (root side down) about 2 - 3 inches deep.
See the individual cloves broken apart from the bulb.

Planting a clove of garlic.  This was one of the hardnecks.  Look how big that clove is!!!!!!
We planted the five varieties and left space between each variety to plant something else in the spring.  I've made notes to map out what variety of garlic is planted where - so we can find out next summer when we harvest which variety grew well, which had the best flavor, and which produced the most/biggest bulbs.  I'll keep you posted on how it's doing in the months to come.
Please give me your comments.  Have you planted garlic before?  What varieties do you like?  Where do you order your garlic sets?  Share with us!


  1. I've planted garlic and find that is very reliable and hardy, no matter how it is treated during the planting or while it sits in the winter. I always use the hardneck variety. Last year I planted Bavarian Purple - big cloves and POW! for flavor. This year I planted Chesnuk (sp?) Red.

  2. I keep meaning to ask you how the garlic is doing. Did you harvest the scapes? I'd never even heard of them until a few weeks ago and then helped a friend cut hers. She gave us a bunch - what a treat!