Growing garlic is not difficult
Any amateur gardener can learn how to grow garlic successfully in their home garden. It can be fun and rewarding when you can finally eat your own crop. Below you will find some basic information about how to start growing garlic and what to put attention to in order to achieve the best results. You will also find links to more detailed articles about how to grow garlic within this website.
How to grow garlic in 6 simple steps
- Buy garlic seed from a reliable source. You can plant garlic cloves from garlic head bought in the supermarket, but the best results are achieved when you use disease free seeds grown by farmers. Ask the farmer when it is best time to plant & harvest the garlic seed you bought.
- Choose an area in your garden or pots you want to plant garlic in. Make sure that there is enough space for garlic plant to grow, without having to compete for sun light with other plants.
- Plant garlic seed. Good time to plant garlic is after the first freeze. Place cloves 3-4 cm below the surface of the ground, root up and at least 6” apart. If you plant your garlic in pots plant 4 steads in 8″ pot and 8 steads in 12″ pot.
- Water garlic plants in the dry season. Stop watering garlic 2 weeks before the harvest.
- Feed & weed your garlic plant. Look out for pests, diseases. Don’t allow tall weeds overshadow garlic plant as the size of the bulb also depends on exposure to good sun light.
- Harvest, clean & eat your home grown garlic. Remember to store garlic bulbs in an airy, cool place to maximize its life.
Almost all garlic is grown from cloves, unless it is grown for experimental or specialized purposes, so the first step is to buy seed garlic of a variation you wish to grow.
Popular cultivations of basic garlic variaties
Silverskin garlic (soft-neck) is a popular variation often seen in grocery stores. It also is often used in garlic braids. It matures as one of the last varieties of garlic but also stores the longest (even up to a year) – keep it mind that different types of Silverskin mature at different times, unlike Artichoke garlic. On average Silverskin garlic has more cloves then Artichoke garlic. Silverskins are richly flavored from mild to hot.
Artichoke or Italian garlic (soft-neck) is larger than Silverskins and milder in flavor. They store up to 8 months, which is very good. They sometimes might have purple streaks or spots and be confused with the Purple Stripe garlic.
Porcelain garlic (hard-neck) is probably one of the prettiest of garlics with a lovely white, parchment–like skin which tightly wraps a few, but very large, cloves. Porcelain garlic offers a very rich, earthy, strong and hot flavour. It stores very well.
Rocambole garlic (hard-neck) is not as white as other hard-necks, and also have slightly thinner wrappers around their 7-9 cloves. What sets it apart from others, except for the unique, big and rich, hot flavour and high content of sulfonic acid is it’s uniquely behaving scape – it is the only hard-neck’s scape that forms a complete double loop. Rocambole garlics store for around 5-6 months. They are known for being chefs’ favourite variety.
Purple Stripe garlic‘s (hard-neck) thick papery skin covering the bulb has distinctive, vivid, vertical purple stripes, hence its name. When raw it is rich in flavour but not very hot. It becomes deeply sweet when baked – it appears to be the most popular variety for baking. It stores around 5 months.
Elephant garlic isn’t a real garlic as it is closer to the leek family. It has a nice and milder flavour than regular garlic and it is a great addition to salads. Its bulb is almost twice as big as the bulb of a regular garlic. If you want to plant elephant garlic remember to double the space between the cloves in the ground (or in the pot).
Black garlic can’t be grown as its colour and it’s uniquely sweet, syrupy and nutty flavour is an outcome of high temperature exposure, not a natural growing process.