Sunday, May 30, 2010

Growing garlic: Plan now for fall

Growing garlic is about as easy as it gets. Put a bulb in the ground in the fall, wait through the winter, and in late spring or summer (depending on the type), you get fresh garlic. There's nothing that compares to it. Not the bottled kind, nor the white papery, decaying bulbs at the grocery store.

The problem is, it's not a cheap habit. If you're ordering, you need to think about it now, and prepare to spend $8.50 or more per half-pound of garlic. And if you want multiple varieties, you better have ground space and serious cash. It adds up quickly!

Or you can start shopping now. Keep an eye out at your farmers markets for garlic. (A word of note: It goes quickly, so arrive early in the day!) Store back a few bulbs for fall, and you'll be ready for planting with a more manageable bunch.

This weekend, I managed to get some early spring heirloom garlic for 50 cents a head. For three dollars, I even with my tendency to cook using lots of garlic, I'll have plenty to plant come October!

If you're thinking about using the types at the grocery store, I'd advise against it. I've had no luck with regular or organic garlic varieties sold in the shops. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I planted some garlic last fall - first time I've tried it. I fear I'm not terribly educated about garlic, I just bought a bulb at the organic market, broke it up into cloves and stuck each on in the ground. They all came up and seem happy... but how do I know when to harvest them? Will they look like the garlic that you get at the supermarket, or does the dry skin form after they're out of the ground? Any suggestions for this garlic novice would be greatly appreciated!

Yours in Frugal Green-ness,
Rebecca The Greeniac

Robbie said...

Do you know if it was early variety or late fall? The big clue is you harvest them when the tops fall over. You can also use the garlic scapes

Here's an article to help:

Anonymous said...

Lordy... I haven't a clue what I planted. I think I'll check out the article and maybe it will provide some clue.