So yes, here's another infomercial for raised bed gardening. Garlic loves raised beds because of its fertile, well-drained soil. No stones. No clay soil. Yes compost. Yes manure. Yes fertilizer. 10-10-10 please!
So to get started, all you need to do is buy garlic bulbs, preferably from a roadside stand or farmers market. You can also order from a seed company or check out your local garden center. This part is vital! The garlic bulbs need to be fresh and high quality and if at all possible, organic. Unless you're desperate, don't use pesticide sprayed grocery store garlic. Another downside? Grocery store garlic bulbs are treated to make their shelf life longer, making them harder to grow.
And remember: Larger cloves = bigger garlic = larger crop. Don't use squishy or soft garlic either.
Don't damage cloves at their base. If the base is damaged, garlic will not grow!
Separate the cloves from the bulb several days before planting. Keep the papery husk on each clove. Each clove should sprout into a garlic plant. This should help you gauge how many bulbs to buy. Your goal is to plant about one month before the ground freezes wherever you live. In Southern areas, February or March may be your best time to plant.
Place cloves 4 inches apart and 2 inches deep in an upright position. Rows should be spaced one foot apart. Plant the cloves with the pointy end up and the blunt end or wide root side down. [That came out a little weird].
Another tip? Newly planted garlic needs to be kept moist so the roots can develop. But just moist. Don't overwater or your planted cloves will just rot on you.
In the spring, when the ground warms up due to warmer temperatures, shoots will emerge from the ground. But I'll save that blog for spring. Until then, enjoy planting! Are you a garlic fan?