Plant Great Garlic

Here are some tips from six experts to help you plant great garlic and grow the best crop.

| October/November 2005

Garlic tastes wonderful, whether you mince it for salsa, pure it for pesto, bake whole bulbs until the flesh is soft enough to spread on bread, or steam a few cloves in the same pot with potatoes.

The perfect time to plant this crop (Allium sativuims) late fall, a fitting last hurrah for the gardening year. Garlic does best in soil rich in organic matter; it also needs full sun and regular watering during the spring season. In the summer, when half of its leaves turn brown, you can pull up the bulbs and treat yourself to the best tasting garlic you've ever eaten, with a crisp texture unique to fresh, homegrown garlic.

There are two main garlic types: softnecks, such as artichoke, Creole, Asiatic and turban varieties; and more cold-hardy hardnecks, represented by porcelain, purple stripes and rocambole types. Climate plays an important role in the survival quality of garlic, which also is a surprisingly responsive crop. If you save and replant the best cloves from your garden-grown garlic, it will show its satisfaction with the particular growing conditions in your garden by improving in quality with each passing season.

Where should you start and what should you expect? The garlic grower start varies from one climate to another, but these six organic growers offer expert advice for every region.

Northwest: Filaree Farm

Since 1977, Filaree Farm in north-central Washington has been a pioneer in collecting, growing and selling little-known strains of gourmet garlic. All hundred-plus varieties grown at Filaree Farm are planted at the end of September, in soil that has been kept in alfalfa and other cover crops for seven years between garlic plantings.

For Northwest gardeners, owner Watershine Woods recommends turban varieties such as Portuguese because they come in early, and marbled purple stripes because they are big plants with beautiful bulbs that have big cloves.

8/22/2014 9:26:05 AM

I planted Garlic in the fall of last year, but was to ill to harvest it this year, will it be alright to leave it in the ground, or should I harvest it and replant? thanks for your help.

kent berry
11/15/2012 1:24:25 PM

GARLICTOP Has 80 plus varieties of garlic grow on virgin land , using only ( Certified Organic ) method this brings out the Vibrant colors and fabulous flavors. We carry the largest selection of Varieties grown in IL . USA grow garlic come visit us and check out the selection of hand planted and hand picked Gourmet, Heritage, and Rare garlic

tom kastl
1/23/2009 7:10:17 PM

thank you for everything you and the staff have helped me gardening has improved since i began reading that i have been on your web site,i enjoy mother so much more. thanks from me, my famaly,and the others that eat from my garden tom

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