A Ritual of Planting Garlic

Garlic is one of my favorite crops to plant! I also love potatoes and flower bulbs so I think I like digging in soil (and autumn weather). 🙂 

I know I can use my crop of garlic to plant more garlic, and it is even recommended, but I didn’t have any on hand this year, so I ordered seeds and garlic from High Mowing Seeds. Their seeds and plants are organic and they have an excellent selection. I like the red chesnook variety and the bulbs get huge without compromising flavor. Another teacher gifted me some of her gorgeous garlic, and I could have used that as seed also, but had already placed my order.

I cleared out a diagonal half of one of my 6′ by 6′ beds, then lightly hand tilled to break up my hard southwest Idaho soil.  We did get a truckload of soil + compost in our beds this spring, but our soil gets hard anyway due to the intense heat and dry periods. Then I made some rows about 5″ apart using my Hori-Hori knife, which is THE BEST garden tool in existence.

I took the time to look for the largest cloves first because the largest ones really do produce the biggest garlic bulbs. I had some trouble with the wrapping coming off too easily. You want the wrapping to stay intact for healthy growth. 

Then I placed the garlic before covering the cloves.

I spaced each clove about 6″ apart and tried to not get too close to the edge of the box to ensure maximum bulb growth.

I dug them in a little deeper with my knife (about 2″) then covered with more soil. Easy and extremely satisfying! All I have to do is water them occasionally if it doesn’t rain at all before winter and cover up a bit when there is some growth. In July I hope to have a beautiful crop of garlic! 

Any extra cloves that were smaller or unwrapped I’ll just throw into my next meal.

I think it’s exciting to dig them up and see how big they have gotten! It’s like a surprise you’ve been waiting patiently for all year. Even if they don’t get big, I still am grateful to harvest my own food. I haven’t bought grocery store garlic in many years, and even though I didn’t find time to plant any last year, some of my previous crop is still good somehow. Also, I had quite a bit of forgotten cloves in different places of my garden and got quite a good, albeit unintentional, little volunteer crop this summer.

Happy planting!

Peace and love,