|Garlic Cloves Ready to Plant: Gary Pilarchik|
The planting time range, spans September through December. I read that a gardener planted some bulbs in September, some in October and finally some in November. The outcome… they all matured at the same time with similar size. This tells me the cool weather of Fall and early Winter will work in Maryland. I have little doubt that you could probably plant garlic in March for a slightly later crop.
Well it is January and the ground isn’t frozen, it will be in the 50’s today and I am a bit impulsive. Today has been anointed garlic experiment day. I don’t have time to order garlic since there are no overnight garlic shops in business. So… I will be going to our local Giant. I have grown grocery store garlic in the past. It works. There is always a risk you are buying garlic that is sprayed with a preventative to keep it from sprouting.
The basic planting scheme for garlic is a single clove planted root side down to a depth of 2–3 inches. Spacing between cloves should be a minimum of 4 inches to allow for bulb development. I will address when to harvest garlic in another blog.
Here are some pictures to get you familiar with garlic. There is a top and bottom but when confused... just plant the clove on its side. The beauty of Nature is that the plant corrects itself to grow toward the sun.
|Garlic Bulbs Root Side (L) and Sprout Side (R): Gary Pilarchik|
|Many Garlic Cloves Form the Bulb: Gary Pilarchik|
In the two above pictures you have garlic bulbs and that is what you are hoping to grow and harvest. A garlic bulb has a top and bottom. The bottom side has the remains of the roots and the top side is from where the stem sprouts. I removed the dried outter garlic skin and you can see there are many garlic cloves that form the bulb. The cloves are what you will plant... NOT the bulb. Below are the cloves broken apart from the bulb.
|Garlic Bulbs Being Broken into Cloves: Gary Pilarchik|
|A Garlic Bulb Broken into Dozens of Cloves: Gary Pilarchik|
|Garlic Cloves of Various Sizes: Gary Pilarchik|