A COMPLETE GUIDE TO GROWING ORGANIC GARLIC
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Sun exposure: Full Sun Soil pH: Slightly Acidic/Neutral
Garlic can be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked, but fall planting is recommended. Bulbs will grow bigger and more flavorful when you plant them in the fall. Plant 6 to 8 weeks before your first hard frost. In southern areas, February or March can be a better time to plant.
Break apart cloves from bulb but keep the papery husk on each individual clove.
Ensure soil is well-drained with plenty of organic matter. Plant in Full Sun.
Plant 4 inches apart & 2 inches deep, in their upright position (the wide end down and pointed end facing up).
Come springtime, shoots will begin to emerge.
Northern states should mulch with straw for overwintering.
Remove mulch in the spring after the threat of frost is over. (Young shoots can't survive in temps below 20°F on their own. Keep them under cover.)
Cut off any flowering shoots that come up in the springtime. They will decrease the size of the bulb.
Fertilize with nitrogen, especially if you see yellowing leaves.
Water once every 3-5 days during bulb-ing (mid-May through June).
HARVESTING / STORAGE
You’ll know it’s time to harvest your garlic when the tops are yellow and they begin to fall over. Harvest the garlic before the tops are completely dry.
Gently lift the bulbs with a spade or garden fork. When you remove them from the soil, carefully brush off the soil and let them cure in an airy, shady spot for two weeks. Try hanging them upside down on a string. The key to curing them is making sure that they have good air circulation.
Your garlic will be ready to store when the wrappers are dry and papery and the roots are also very dry. The head of the root should be hard and the cloves should come apart easily.
Remote all dirt, roots & leaves. Keep the papery wrapper on—but remove any dirty parts.
Bulbs should be stored in a cool (40 degrees F), dark, dry place, for several months.
The flavor of your garlic will increase as your bulbs are curing and drying.
Make sure you save a few cloves of garlic from each head to plant again next year.