Garlic likes rich, well-drained soil. It does best in areas with a pH between 6-7. Due to garlic’s intense flavor it is relatively pest-free.
Plant cloves 4-6 inches apart and cover with 1-2 inches of soil. Plant Elephant garlic 6-8 inches deep and cover with 4-6 inches of soil. It is best to plant in late fall to get a root system established before winter. When spring growth starts apply a high nitrogen fertilizer according to package instructions. Reduce water before harvesting to increase flavor and reduce the risk of mold. Cut off any flower stalks to keep energy going to the bulb.
Harvest when only 3-4 green leaves remain on the stem. Dig up and allow to dry for about 2 weeks. Then enjoy in your favorite dishes!
When choosing your garlic, consider what your will use your harvest for, and how long you’ll want to store your garlic. There are 2 main types of garlic varieties to be aware of:
Softneck Garlic: Softnecks produce 6-18 cloves per head They are generally easier to grow and excellent for cooking. Softnecks have a longer storage life than hardnecks.
Hardneck Garlic: Typically have 5-9 cloves per head. They have a broad range of excellent flavors. Hardnecks have a shorter storage life than softnecks.
Onions grow the first year and flower the following year. Onions are available for purchase at three different stages: seed, sets or bunches. Onions planted from seed (or seeded tray packs) are less likely to bolt and are better planted in spring. Sets are small bulblets (they look like miniature onions found in the store), and tend not to get as large if planted in the spring; planting sets in the fall is best. Bunches are bundles of pencil-sized onions. Both onion sets and bunches have already grown one season and are more likely to bolt.
Onions need full sun and well-draining soil. Onions perform best in light soil with organic material. If soils are clay amend with high quality compost.
Plant transplants 4-6 inches apart (3 inches deep for onion sets, 1 inch deep for transplants). Onions can be planted as close as 3 inches apart with thinning. This is a great way to provide green onions for salads and soups throughout the season. Rows should be 15 inches apart.
If onions start to bolt cut off the flower stalk.
Shallots are the tasty result of an onion-garlic hybrid.
Surface sow (do not cover completely with soil) shallot bulbs in late fall about 8 inches apart in well-dug, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. Rows should be about 12 inches apart. Make sure that they’ll get lots of sun.
Due to their strong smell and flavor shallots will repel most garden pests. Give them a good vegetable food, they like fertilizers with high phosphorus. Harvest when the tops die down. Allow them to dry for a week before storage. Save the smallest bulbs for next year’s crop, and enjoy the larger bulbs in your favorite dishes!
Information Provided by Territorial Seed Company
Curious how to go about choosing a garlic variety to grow? Check out our YouTube video on Garlic for Gardens to learn about types and timing for the home garden.