This is the best time of year to plant garlic, whether in containers or in your garden. All you need is some wide, deep, drainable space (18″ deep and 12″ wide) and sun (at least 6 hours worth each day)!
We found beautiful “hardneck” bulbs at our neighborhood farm market. This type of garlic is a single layer of cloves surrounding a hard, central stock; it produces garlic scapes in spring – a particular Loulies favorite. We planted ours in raised beds but, whether you choose this option or the container option, use good-quality potting soil.
Separate the garlic cloves from the stock, making sure to keep the papery layer intact. Choose the largest cloves to plant. Use the smaller ones to cook. Plant the cloves 2 1/2 inches deep and 5 inches apart, with the pointed tip facing up. Cover with soil.
In the Spring:
Make sure to keep the soil consistently moist (water it) and consider adding some liquid organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks. Cut the scapes off after they emerge (and use them!), this will keep the garlic’s growing energy working to make big, healthy bulbs that should be ready to harvest in early summer (when the bottom one-third of the leaves have begun to yellow).
Check out these colorful, recycled milled steel planters!