Garlic Makes it Good!
A few years ago I got so many calls about hydrangeas on GardenLine that my friend remarked that we should rename the program HydrangeaLine. Now another plant threatens to usurp this shrub’s place of prominence. Lately my callers want to know more about a plant that’s slightly less colorful: garlic.
The garlic (Allium sativum) commonly used to flavor food around the world and has traditionally been utilized medicinally as well. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest edible plants to grow. To be successful growing garlic you just need a few helpful tips.
- In general it’s better to buy “seed garlic” instead of planting the cloves that are sold for cooking in supermarkets. Those in northern climates (USDA zone 5 and below) will have most success with “hardneck” varieties.
- Buy your seed garlic at a garden center or online but place your order in August. Many sources sell out early! Store your seed garlic in a cool place until time to plant.
- Garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in early to mid-summer depending on your region. You’ll want to plant garlic after your first frost but well before the ground starts to freeze.
- The seed garlic will come in one large head. You’ll need to gently break this down into individual cloves just before planting. Save the few smallest pieces for cooking and plant the biggest cloves in the garden.
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