Paul Nickerson

Posts Tagged ‘harvesting garlic’

Garlic: Fall Planting

In Gardening, Propagation on December 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

If you haven’t planted your garlic yet, there is still time. Garlic is a member of the Liliaceae (Lily) family, along with onions and leeks. Because of this, garlic is grown in a similar manner to onions. While many people like to plant their garlic on the winter solstice (Dec. 22nd), it is not an exact science. A fall planting of garlic should be in the ground shortly after the first, hard frost.¬†Due to the warm weather this winter, there is still ample time get a planting in.

Planting

Garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow in your home garden. A bulb can be purchased from any local seed supply store this time of year. The bulb is separated into individual cloves. The cloves should be planted in well draining soil so that the top of the cloves are about an inch below ground level. After the bulbs winter over, they will sprout in the spring.

Harvesting

Garlic will be ready toward the end of the growing season, once the scape and spathe begin to die back. Some of our shareholders at the Community Garden receiving the entire scape to use in soups. Depending on the soil, the garlic plant can usually be pulled up by the bulb neck.

Storing 

Garlic can be prepared and stored in a number of ways. Some people prefer to braid or bundle the stalks of their garlic together to allow them to be dried and stored in a group. In the garden, I prefer to hang the garlic out to dry the stalk and bulb slightly. The bulbs can be cut from the stalk, leaving about an inch of the bulb neck. It is best to store garlic away from sunlight, in an area with good air circulation. Storing garlic in a refrigerator for extended periods of time can lead to softening or mold.

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