From Garden to Table: Growing Your Own Garlic at Home

From Garden to Table: Growing Your Own Garlic at Home
From Garden to Table: Growing Your Own Garlic at Home

You are familiar with the delight of eating a meal that you grew yourself because you have a home garden. Garlic is one of the crops that pays out the most for the effort. Despite producing an abundance of tasty bulbs that you may use for months, garlic requires relatively little maintenance. If you’ve never produced your own garlic, this is the ideal time to begin preparing for the following growing season. With a little basic knowledge of planting, caring for, and harvesting, you can soon be eating garlic that you grew yourself.

Fall is the best season for planting garlic because it has a long growing season. Pick a location in your garden that receives full sun, fertile soil, and a good drainage system. To ensure you get a variety suitable for your climate, get high-quality seed garlic from a respected seller. Early in the fall, sow the cloves with the pointy end up, spacing them approximately six inches apart.

Keep the area weed-free and moist, and in the summer, allow the green shoots to wither away. Use a garden fork to gently remove the dirt surrounding the bulbs after the bottom leaves start to turn brown. All winter long, you can harvest, cure, and eat your own-grown garlic. You can master the art of growing garlic if you put some effort and time into it.   

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Selecting the Right Garlic Variety for Your Garden

The key to a productive garlic harvest is choosing the right type for your region’s climate. Some types do better in warmer climates, while others like it cooler.

Hardneck Garlic

  • Hardneck garlic cultivars produce scapes, an edible flower stalk. They yield larger cloves and are typically more tolerant of the cold. Typical hardneck cultivars include:
  • The vigorous, cold-tolerant variety known as “Rocambole” has a rich, spicy flavor. It’s simple to peel cloves.
  • The cultivar “Porcelain” yields exceptionally large, easily peeled cloves with a moderate flavor. withstands chilly temperatures effectively.
  • Beautiful cultivar with purple-striped cloves and a strong, spicy flavor is called “Purple Glazer.” performs best in regions with harsh winters.

Softneck Garlic

The types of softneck garlic don’t produce blossom stalks. They yield smaller, more tightly wrapped cloves and have a longer shelf life. Several suggested variants are:

‘Inchelium Red’ – A mellow, buttery artichoke kind. holds items for a year. does well in hotter climates.

“Lorz Italian” is a robust, active variety with a delicate flavor. high yielding and has a 10-month shelf life.

California Early is a mild, early-maturing type of creamy white. Best suited to regions with brief growing seasons. holds for six months.

You can successfully produce garlic at home by selecting a variety that is adapted to your region’s climate and meets your requirements for flavor, heat, and storage life. You can soon begin harvesting your own garlic if you take the necessary precautions and have patience.

Preparing the Soil and Planting Garlic Cloves

The initial stages in growing garlic effectively at home are to properly prepare the soil and plant the cloves.

Choosing a Planting Spot

Choose a location in your garden with plenty of sunlight, healthy, well-drained soil, and a pH that is neutral between 6 and 7. For healthy bulbs to grow, garlic needs full sun for at least six hours each day. To retain moisture while still allowing for good drainage, the soil should be loamy and have a blend of sand, silt, and clay.

Preparing the Soil

Loosen the soil to a depth of at least one foot in the fall to prepare the area. To give nutrients for your crop, remove all weeds from the area and add 3 to 4 inches of compost or other organic debris. The garlic bulbs’ ability to enlarge as they grow will be facilitated by the enriched, friable soil.

Planting the Cloves

Plant the largest cloves of garlic in the ground two to three weeks before the ground freezes by separating the garlic head into individual cloves. Place the cloves in the ground 2 to 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart, pointy end up. To protect the soil over the winter, cover it with 3 to 4 inches of straw or leaf mulch.

If there isn’t enough rain in the spring, maintain the area weeded and water the garlic. While the plants are establishing themselves, the mulch will assist in keeping the soil moist. Come summer, you’ll be collecting your own fresh garlic bulbs if the land is properly prepared and cared for. Garlic that is produced at home has a strong flavor that is superior to that of store-bought types.

Harvesting Garlic at the Right Time

The time of the harvest is essential for getting the optimum results from your homegrown garlic crop. The lowest leaves of the plant will start to brown and die back as the garlic ages in the garden. The bulbs are ready for harvesting once six or more leaves have withered away.

To loosen the dirt, carefully use a garden fork to dig under and around each bulb. Grab the remaining green tops and gently pry the bulbs out of the earth. The bulbs should not be removed by the tops alone as this could cause harm. Shake off extra dirt from the bulbs’ roots.

When the papery skin of the bulb feels dry and hard, bulb growth is finished. The green tops can now be cut back to a length of about an inch. The gathered bulbs must be cured in order for the skins to harden and dry out in a protective manner.

In order to cure, whole bulbs must be kept out of direct sunlight in a dry, warm, and well-ventilated space. It’s best to use a garage, shed, or covered porch. On a wire mesh rack, spread the bulbs out so that they are not touching one another. To achieve equal curing, periodically rotate the bulbs.

Your garden-fresh garlic bulbs can last for 6 to 12 months when kept in a cool, dry, dark environment with the right harvesting and curing methods. Enjoy your harvest, and good luck in the garden!


As you have seen, growing your own garlic at home is a rewarding endeavor for any gardener or home cook. From planting the cloves in the fall to harvesting the mature bulbs the following summer, you get the satisfaction of seeing your crop develop over many months. The end result is homegrown garlic with a flavor far superior to anything you can buy at the store. With some basic knowledge, the right tools and supplies, and patience through the winter and spring, you too can experience the joy of bringing homegrown garlic from your garden to your table. The time and effort will be well worth it once you savor that first bite of bruschetta topped with your own fresh garlic. Happy planting and happy harvesting! May your garden and kitchen be filled with the aroma of homegrown garlic.



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