Time to Plant Garlic

We sell organic Russian Hardneck Porcelain garlic from Gabriola Gourmet Garlic. Porcelain is a hardy, very pungent garlic. It forms huge cloves and is a good winter keeper, if kept at or below room temperature, less than 65% humidity and good air ventilation.  My garlic was still firm and tasty in June this year.

There’s nothing like growing your own garlic – and the best thing is it’s one of the easiest things to grow in your garden. It is a relatively carefree plant and has few pests or diseases. Other than weeding, garlic needs little care once it’s planted. And because most growth occurs before the summer sun starts to dry out the soil, garlic normally doesn’t require much irrigation.

An ideal time for planting is the 15th of October.

Don’t leave it too late in the fall or it will not have good root growth and will get off to a slow start in the spring. The site where the garlic is planted should be in full sun and in a light, humus-rich soil that drains well. The soil should not be too acidic or too fertile. Too much nitrogen causes heavy top growth and, especially in the spring, delays bulb formation. A little bone meal helps with good root formation.

To plant, simply break apart the bulb without peeling off any of the skins. To prevent fungal diseases, dip the cloves in a solution of water and bleach:  5 parts bleach to 100 parts water.

Plant the individual cloves 10cm (4 inches) apart and about 5cm (2 inches) deep with the pointy side up.

Green tips will emerge in early spring.  By June, you should see the curly-que tops known as garlic scapes.  These are the plant’s flowers.  Cut them off to direct the plant’s energy to the bulbs. They are wonderful in stir fries and make amazing garlicy pesto!

Harvest in early July.  Our grower says he lifts his garlic on July 1st every year.  He should know!