Earlier this week, garden volunteers Sarah and Chris planted some garlic cloves in the bed where the sunflower plant, the oregano, and a nice lavender plant used to be. In order to do this, the lavender had to be repotted and the oregano moved into the herb bed. Oregano is a perennial, so it should come back next year. The volunteers then turned the soil before digging 2 inch deep holes, 6 inches apart each, in rows. They then removed single garlic cloves from their bulbs and placed one clove into each hole with their tips facing upwards. You should try to plant the cloves as close to the time that you separate them from the bulb as possible in order to prevent the cloves from drying out too much.
Fall garlic planting is recommended by many. It is a good idea to cover the plot with a layer of about 6 inches of straw after planting and before winter. Garlic’s growth should not be deterred by frost. The cloves will produce roots after planting but will most likely not produce visible seedlings until the following spring.
In order to care for garlic, you need to try to keep the soil moist as well as regularly add a bit of soil on top of where the clove is planted to help the clove to hold onto moisture. It should be noted that early summer is an extremely important time to keep the garlic well-watered, however watering should be left basically up to mother nature come July in order to prevent molding. The bulbs should be ready for harvest by the end of July or the beginning of August. Look for brown lower leaves but upper leaves which are still green as a sign for a good time to harvest.
Like citronella and lavender, the garlic plant acts as an insect repellent (many failed first dates will attest to this effect of garlic as well), making it a great addition to a backyard garden plot where family and friends get together in the summer months.
I found a lot of great information on gardening with garlic at www.almanac.com!