Growing Garlic

  • Garlic is usually planted in the fall, 3-4 weeks before a hard freeze to give the garlic time to develop some roots. In colder climates, garlic should be planted between late September and early November.  In warmer climates, garlic can be planted until mid-December. Garlic can be planted in the spring but bulbs may be significantly smaller.

  • Garlic requires a location that receives full sun and has well-drained soil that is easy to dig. A soil pH range of 6.0-7.0 is ideal for growing garlic along with plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

  • Split garlic bulb into individual cloves just prior to planting. Direct sow the clove with the basal root end down (larger end) and the pointed end up. Plant cloves 2-3" deep, spacing 6" apart, 18" between rows.  After planting, apply 2-4" of untreated mulch material~grass clippings, straw or shredded leaves.

  • Harvest garlic in the spring when the last 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottom leaves begin to turn yellow and dry down, or plant has fallen over. Loosen the soil around bulb and lift with a fork, brush off any loose dirt from the garlic bulb and roots, leave roots and leaves attached.

  • Hang garlic plants by their leaf stem in bundles of 5-10 or lay flat on screens in a cool, dry, shaded, well-ventilated area up to 4 weeks to give time for bulbs to cure. Use a fan in humid conditions for good air circulation.

  • After curing, the outer wrapper can be removed to clean up any loose soil, cut roots to 1/4" long, trim stem 1" above the bulb, or you can leave the tops on softneck garlic for braiding. Store in a cool, dry, dark,well-ventilated area

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Specialty Garlic Farm in

China Township, Michigan

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