Yesterday I had a nice chat with Warren Ham, the farmer who runs August’s Harvest garlic farm in Stratford, Ontario and guess what he said? It’s not too late to plant some garlic so that you have a home harvest next year. In fact, even if the ground is frozen in your area, Warren says you can scatter compost over the hard ground; plant the cloves and then top them with a thickish layer of compost and you’ll have garlic scapes for stir fries next spring. Seriously.
So, if you were wondering what to do this weekend, now you have plans! Just follow these tips – provided by Warren – for growing garlic:
- Make sure you choose cloves that are hard and solid.
- Plant in a raised bed of about 4-inches to give the bulb uncompacted soil that will allow the roots to develop and for excess rain to drain away in the spring.
- Plant each clove with the root plate end down
- Space the cloves 5 inches (12.5 cm) apart
- Plant near a fence or hedge that can act as a wind break to prevent winter kill
In the spring, harvest the scape flower 10 to 14 days after it appears and use it in your recipes. Harvest the bulbs at the end of the season when the leaves have died back by 30% (the bulbs will open if left longer. Dig from the ground, hang and cure for at least a week before using them in recipes.
Have you ever grown your own garlic? If not, now that you know how easy it is, will you try?