How To Grow Garlic
The first Grow thing that we do is to choose the kind of garlic to grow. Them are two basic types: hardneck (stiffneck, or topset) and softneck. Within the two types there are many subspecies and varieties. Generally hardnecks will have cloves growing around a central woody stem and the flavor is usually hotter than the softnecks. Softnecks may have many cloves growing around a center clove ora large number of center cloves. Most of the garlic that you buy at the local supermarket is softneck and grown in California, China, Mexico and other parts of South America. Most of these do not grow well in northern climates.
The site that you choose for growing should be a sunny, well drained spot with a soil that has a fair amount of organic matter work, in. Clay and sands are OK, but the key is organic matter. Its also very important that the ph level is between 6.8 and 7.2.
For best results, planting should occur in northern climates after Sept. 15th and before Oct 30th.You may also Spring plant but the resulting heads are much smaller because the garlic did not have the opportunity. develop a good root system throughout the winter months.
Just before planting, split the cloves off from the head of garlic. Make a furrow 2 to 3 inches deep and plant each clove root tip down and at least 4 inches apart. You may use a fertilizer or compost higher in Phosphorous (P) and Potassium 0) to ensure good root development throughout the cold onths. Cover the clove and pile on 4ton inches of dirt or mulch. help prevent heaving during the freezing winter. The nadir will poke through in March. This is a good time to feed the garlic with a fertilizer high in Nitrogen (N) to promote top growth and bulb formation. Keep the area weed free and in the first week of June your hardneck varieties will begin to grow a scope from the center of the top leaves. You should snap the scape off before it reaches a length of 12 inches.Once the scope is removed,the energy is forced 00 the formation of the head or bulb. Scan. are edible, so do not throw them away.
Softnecks tend to be ready,. You will notice some of the garlic will fall over and lay on the ground.That is a sign to harvest your softnecks and begin to check the hardnecks. The tips of the leaves of the hardneck,W11 begin to yellow and dry and you will notice that the sheath around them near the base will begin to loo. This usually occurs during the first or second week of July.
Dig the garlic with a fork or shovel.sen It OK to leave it lying on the ground for a day or two to dry, but if you dot., make sure the temperature is below 90 degrees F. Pick up the garlic and shake off the dirt. The garlic will need to dry for a couple of weeks (or eaten at any time). To dry t e garlic, place it in an area where there is plenty of air movement around the stems and heads. We use fans on ours.
Preserving and Storing
There are many different ways to preserve your garlic. Cut it up and put it in the freezer 0r later use. Dehydrate and put through a coffee grinder to make powder. Keep loose in a bowl in a cool dark cupboard. Place in a brown paper bag and put into the crisper of your refrigerator - this method has been working very well for people and allows for you to buy, store and eat fresh garlic for the whole year. Braid it and hang it in the kitchen. Don't forget to pickle a little bit while you are at it. Storing garlic in oil in the refrigerator is not recommended as botulism can form.