Did you know that every garlic bulb you buy could turn into a dozen bulbs of garlic? Talk about a return on investment!
Did you know that every garlic bulb you buy could turn into a dozen bulbs of garlic? Talk about a return on investment! No magic wand or stock market knowledge is necessary, all you need to do is plant the cloves.
Garlic is a member of the allium family, which also includes lilies, leeks and onions. When garlic grows, it even looks a bit like green onion because of the green leaves that grow straight up. The health benefits of garlic have been touted for centuries, and some people even believe garlic has medicinal properties.
To plant garlic, you plant individual cloves. Every clove will grow into a plant with its own bulb of cloves. Garlic cloves should be planted in winter, traditionally on the winter solstice. Any clove will work, but the large outer cloves produce larger, better quality bulbs. Plant cloves flat end down 1 inches under the soil. Space cloves about 4 inches apart. You can grow garlic in a garden or in a deep container.
Garlic will take 6 months or more to mature. If it’s planted in fall or winter, it will be ready in summer. You’ll know when it’s ready because the leaves will begin to die and dry out. If you’re not sure, push back some of the soil and inspect the bulb to see if it has reached full size. Harvest garlic by gently digging it from the soil; Do not pull it out by its shoots.
Hang garlic in a cool, dry shed to cure for two weeks after harvesting. You can tie or braid the leaves together before hanging them up. Once the garlic is nice and dry, cut away the leaves and roots and store the bulbs in paper bags at room temperature for six to eight months.