Planting Garlic

There is still time to plant garlic.

When to plant: They say here in Vancouver we can plant garlic from late October to the end of January. *** see hints on harvesting garlic . Harvesting would happen June to September in Vancouver.

Where to plant: Soil type is not a huge issue with garlic but please have it good drainage. Your garlic will just rot in wet soil.

Selecting Garlic: You can buy specially selected seeds for growing or just start planting the garlic you have around, do not be to fussy about it- you can even plant the ones that have started to sprout. Garlic will not grow if it is too dry or rotting. Try some of the many different varieties of garlic available. http://www.garlicfarm.ca/rocambole-garlic.htm. There is some Spanish Rojo available in Richmond, I really like this variety.

Planting: Make sure you separate the bulbs into the separate cloves before (called cracking) heading out to the garden this time of year. With the cold and the damp I seem to rush this and damage the garlic if I do this outside. Plant each clove 2.5 times the hight of the clove deep in to the soil. Do this by making a trench or I poke holes using a chop stick. Cover and wait. You may want to lay some mulch down.

Harvesting: Stop watering your garlic a few weeks before you want to harvest ( I know a bit hard here in Vancouver sometimes) Depending on the variety of Garlic  you will harvest between mid July and late August. The tops of the garlic will start turning brown.

Storing Garlic: I leave the garlic in a dry sunny place for several days to a week, and some times I hang it. I rub off the dirt, cut the tops close to the bulb and store my garlic in panty hose… yes panty hose. Drop one bulb of garlic to the bottom, tie a knot right next to the bulb drop the next bulb and repeat. Now hang your garlic necklace in a dark dry place (not the fridge).When you want some garlic, cut just below the knot of the bulb 2nd from the bottom.

Why grow your own garlic: It is fairly easy and the flavor is just amazing.

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