Growing garlic is super easy. And it is super tasty. So I really cannot think of a reason not to grow this delectable bulb.
Plant mid-fall, which is about mid-late October here up in Maine. You can even get them in the ground in early November if you are feeling lucky. Plant them in loose, rich, weed-free soil; roots down, points up.
Place each clove 5-6″ deep and 4-5″ apart. Then lay a half-foot layer of straw mulch. Leaf and hay can also be used.
Once the spring comes check over your garlic bed and allow the emerging shoots to emerge through the mulch. Now you can give it some food in the form of compost or fertilizer and water. You want to keep an eye on your bed throughout the growing season to make sure they are getting enough moisture.
When you see the ‘scapes’ develop, but them off. The scape is the top of the shoot with a small bulb at the end. It should be curling.
You can dry the scapes for arrangements, eat them (not for me), or just add them to the compost pile. I usually vote for the compost pile.
Once the bottom leaves turn yellow you should start checking your bulbs. I’ll dig one or two up to check on the cloves to see if they are ripe. This is usually in early August, but I suggested checking a week or two before just to be sure. Mother Nature can do funny things to growing plants.
I use a fork to lift the bulbs once they are ready to harvest. Then let them dry in a shaded, dry (a bit redundant I know) area. I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve heard that you can even use a dehydrator for this also.
Then just sit back, enjoy your garlic feast, and get ready for the next planting!