good for the heart, but not a first date
Although garlic can be planted in the spring, fall planting is recommended. Plant in the fall and you’ll find that your bulbs are bigger and more flavorful when you harvest the next summer.
In the lower mainland I recommend planting in October - November to stay about a month ahead of the frost.
Break apart cloves from bulb a few days before planting,
but keep the papery husk on each individual clove.
Do not plant cloves from the grocery store -
most are treated to make their shelf life longer,
making them harder to grow.
Select a sunny spot with well-drained soil containing plenty of organic matter. In BC we get a lot of rain so I recommend raised or mounded beds (or pots) to avoid having the garlic rot in the ground.
Place cloves 4 inches apart and 2 inches deep, in their upright position
(the wide root side facing down and pointed end facing up).
Northern gardeners should mulch heavily with straw for overwintering.
In the spring, as warmer temperatures come, shoots
will emerge through the ground. Mulch should be removed in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. (Young shoots can’t survive in temps below 20°F on their own. Keep them under cover.)
Cut off any scapes (flower shoots) that emerge in spring.
These may decrease bulb size.
Weeds should not be a problem until the spring. Weed as needed.
Garlic requires adequate levels of nitrogen.
Fertilize accordingly, especially if you see yellowing leaves.
Water every 3 to 5 days during bulbing (mid-May through June).
A note on garlic scapes: Whether you trim the scapes or let them keep growing is your preference. We like to stir fry scapes the way we cook green beans—similar, with a spicy kick!