I have never grown garlic before – have wanted to, but always seem to miss the fall planting window. I made it this year, but just barely! And then there was the car accident in my back yard – but the garlic survived all but two that I planted!! Here is the post I did back in November telling about planting the garlic http://simplyrurban.com/?p=1119
1. Get some good organic garlic to start – I bought mine at the health food store about 4 weeks or so prior to the time I planned to plant so that the clove would have already started sprouting.
2. Prep the garden bed.
3. Plant and cover with mulch or leaves – plant before the first frost.
4. Watch it grow!
5. Watching it you will see that it will flower (forgot to take a picture) and then the stalks will begin to brown. When the stalks are starting to brown and wilt – it is getting close to harvest time. You don’t want to water the plants for several weeks prior to harvesting – want the soil and bulb to be dry, this will start the curing process – but you can’t control Mother Nature!
6. Dig up, keep the stalk on – do not break off. I dug around the stalk, not disturbing the bulb and then with my hand took out of the dirt. I gently rubbed off the excess dirt and then went on to the next one.
7. You now need to cure the garlic – this takes several weeks. You want to keep the bulbs in either a well-ventilated room or a dry, shady spot outside. Sunlight can change the flavor of fresh garlic. Since it had rained several days prior to me harvesting – I let my garlic sit in the sun the first afternoon to dry the dirt so I could rub more off – since then they have been in the house.
8. Once the tops and roots have dried you can cut them off, unless you plan to braid your garlic for storage. You can also take the outer most layer off the bulb to get rid of the rest of the dirt, but you do not want to expose the clove.
9. Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated area. You can braid and hang, but not in the kitchen or sunlight, place in a mesh bag or bowl.
I can’t wait to use some of mine!!!