Blog Post: Grow a Row resources, How to Grow Garlic
By now, we hope that you’ve heard a little about Green Venture’s Grow a Row initiative — and may have even begun to harvest your sweet potato seedlings. Grow a Row encourages gardeners to grow an extra row of produce in their gardens to donate, helping to fight local food insecurity and bring fresh, healthy produce to those in need. You can learn more about Grow a Row and the Backyard Garden project by visiting this post.
Grow a Row is all about sharing what you know and what you grow to help build a healthy, sustainable, and resilient community. Green Venture knows that for many Growers, planting garlic is a brand new gardening experience, so today we wanted to provide you with some tips to ensure your planting is as successful as possible!
Garlic is great to plant for a variety of reasons. It is one of the most universally accepted culinary ingredients, it is said to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Garlic is high in protein, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and phosphorus as well as other beneficial nutrients.
How to Grow Garlic:
For optimal planting, Plant cloves in the ground or in raised beds. Ideally, garlic should be planted in the fall because the plant requires a natural dormant period that includes exposure to cold temperatures. A good time to plant Garlic is between September to November.
Sowing: Separate the cloves and set each one, pointed end up, 10-15 cm (4-6”) apart and with the tip of the clove 2-5 cm (1-2’) deep. It is important to ensure that the skin of the cloves is intact to prevent rotting and diseases. Note: The larger the clove, the bigger the bulb.
Growing: Over the winter garlic does not require much effort. Ensure that the soil is rich and evenly moist, this can be done by adding compost before planting and a layer of straw or dry leaves as mulch. In the spring, your garlic leaves will emerge. As your garlic grows, the ‘scape’ stalk will grow up and begin to curl around. The scape can be cut at the bottom, just above the leaves in late June to keep more nutrients and energy going into the growing bulb. Scapes are edible and delicious and can be eaten fresh, sautéed or frozen for later! If you leave scapes, the scape will flower and eventually form a cluster of bulbils or ‘clonal garlic seeds’. It takes a few years, but these bulbils can be propagated to grow garlic bulbs.
Harvesting: Garlic is best harvested in late July – Early August. When the tops begin to dry, pull the garlic by loosening the soil with a pitch fork, gently shake off excess soil and let the whole plant (leaves and bulbs) air-dry laid out on a table or hang to dry in a garage or covered shed. If using a shovel or fork to dig, to keep garlic intact during harvesting, make sure you are digging at least 2 inches away from the plant.
Companion Planting: Beets, Brassicas, Celery, Lettuce, and Tomatoes.
If you would like to participate in a hands on Garlic planting experience Green Venture will be hosting a Garlic Planting Workshop To Register please visit : https://greenventure.ca/upcoming-events/