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  1. #1
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    Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    In my Garden thread, I was asked how to grow Garlic. It is pretty simple but it has to be planted in the Fall, just before the frost kicks in. The clove that gets planted, is in theory, supposed to grow under the ground while the Winter goes bye and the tops of the plant are not supposed to come up until early Spring when it thaws. We have had some pretty warm Winters over the last few years so the growth at both ends leaves your harvest with smaller heads. Still just as fresh and tasty, just not as huge as what we started with.

    This years may be perfect. We planted Thanksgiving weekend and had a perfect cold snowy winter and they did not pop thru until they were supposed to. Harvest will be in about 3 weeks, when the lower few leaves dry and dye off the plant.

    These pics are all from last year planting but the process is always the same. My main tool used is the rounded end of an old broomstick and 1 large Tie-Wrap. You plant 4" deep and 6" apart so I placed the tie-wrap on the stick at 4 inches and cut the end of it at 6 inches from center of stick. This way I could place all the holes and spacing while standing. So 100 holes were dropped into place with correct spacing in 10 minutes without crawling around on the ground.

    We bought the freshest and largest heads of Garlic from the local Wegmans and had a small Peeling Party with a few beers the night before to bust up the heads into individual cloves. Each clove is placed into the hole with the pointy end up. The holes are backfilled with compost/manure or whatever your choice of dirt is.

    After the backfill, we cover the plot with freshly shredded leaves for warmth, protection, and weed control as spring arrives. They don't like a lot of water but a little every day, similar to onions. When you harvest, you gently dig them up and let the dirt dry in the sun before a rough cleaning. You then take the lower 2 leaves and peel them back right over the head leaving you with clean heads still attached to the stalks. They then get laid out in the sun for a week or two before cutting the stalks off after they have dried.

    So here it is, Garlic from Soup to Nuts.





















    -----------------
    Brian

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  2. #2
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    That's awesome Brian !

    I love garlic. Some fresh minced garlic slowly heated in olive oil with some crushed red pepper over linguini, add a little salt and enjoy !!
    Mark


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  3. #3
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    Thanks for the great post Brian. I've been looking at growing my own garlic and this helps in a big way. The broomstick is ingenious. That's a lot of garlic you have there. What do you do to keep it from going bad?
    Doug



  4. #4
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    @Mark - there is nothing like really fresh garlic. When squeezed thru the Sushi, it is more clear juicy and watery as compared to older store bought that squeezes out white and sticky.

    @Doug - I am an ex-Toolmaker and create little jigs and tools for everything. I have a bunch of different diameter stuff with tie wraps for depth and spacing for several things we plant.

    After harvest and for a few months we just leave the garlic drying stored in a cool darker room but later on we will put it in the fridge and hope it does not get too rubbery. Lots of times we will roast it in the toaster oven in foil for 20 minutes if putting on pizza or garlic bread. Last night we had our first fresh Swiss Chard-Naan Bread Pizza and used several cloves we still have from last years harvest without roasting them. I still taste it today
    -----------------
    Brian

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  5. #5
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    was up in boston a few years ago and the girl i was dating brought me to a garlic-fest. it was just hundreds of garlic growers and their different types of garlics from everywhere. i never knew there was so many different kinds. we tried 20 or 30 different types and took home several of them. i thought it would be a awful day but it turned out to be alot of fun and educational. go garlic!!!
    Steve

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  6. #6

    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    Super cool Brian. Your little patch looks terrific, and the garlic has my mouth watering. There is a particular pleasure in prepping the soil, planting, waiting, and harvesting. Personally I feel it keeps us in touch with the rhythm of the earth.
    —Bob V.

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  7. #7
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    We harvested this years crop on Sunday. Most heads were bigger than last years with a few small and whimpy ones. But, they all taste fantastic when this fresh so in this case, size does not matter.

    Since it has been pretty rainy, instead of leaving them outside to dry, they are in my little workshop in the hous and with the air and fan running, the whole house smells like Garlic.

    Not 1 Vampire to be seen!
    -----------------
    Brian

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  8. #8
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    That's great Brian. I'll be planting mine this fall.
    Doug



  9. #9
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by dlb2 View Post
    That's great Brian. I'll be planting mine this fall.
    Just before the first frost, if you can time it right. We usually do it Thanksgiving weekend. Good luck and let us know next year how it goes.
    -----------------
    Brian

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  10. #10
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    After a few years without, I planted a double row of Garlic on a warm January day. The freeze and thaw pushed them out so I re-seated them the other day. A late start but they look promising.
    -----------------
    Brian

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  11. #11
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    I can't wait to grow some. Garlic, any place I shop here in Florida, has been less than ideal for the last 6 months.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    By the time you see the green tails, it's close to a year old already. Nothing like fresh garlic.
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    Brian

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  13. #13
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    Re: Growing Garlic - Clove to Head in Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfax View Post
    By the time you see the green tails, it's close to a year old already. Nothing like fresh garlic.
    So very true. Sauteed garlic, cooked slow equals mellow and sweet.. Yum
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