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Garlic Growing Guide

Easy to grow, garlic (Allium sativum) is delicious as a seasoning or roasted whole and served as a surprisingly sweet, mellow vegetable in its own right.

For more growing tips on vegetable varieties, visit our Vegetable Growing Guide.

Habit: Upright with stiff stems and narrow leaves.

Days to Harvest: Depending on weather conditions, autumn-planted garlic should be ready to harvest about 9 to 10 months later, in July.

When to Plant: Plant in fall, about 6 weeks before hard frost. Set large, firm individual cloves point up in well-prepared soil, burying cloves an inch or two below ground level in mild zones, and at twice that depth in cold-winter areas.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: Organic rich, well drained.

Watering: Keep area weeded and watered.

Fertilizing: Mulch as soon as ground freezes. Avoid use of chemical fertilizers: Excessive nitrogen promotes decay-prone bulbs. Snip off any flower shoots that appear.

Pest Problems: Diseases are commonly a symptom of poorly drained soil; where that is a problem, plant garlic in raised beds.

When to Harvest: Stop watering when top growth starts to yellow, usually in July, and let plants dry for a couple of weeks. Dig carefully to extract bulbs without damaging papery skins. Brush off soil, and cure for 2 to 4 weeks on a screen in a warm, dark, dry area. Afterward, trim tops and roots to within 1/2 inch of bulb and store in a cool, dry place.

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