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Organic Garlic & Shallot Academy
shares a lifetime of lessons distilled into step-by-step tutorials, season by season, to amplify your garlic & shallot abundance for years to come. You’ll find our Garlic Growing Guide as well as our Shallot Growing Guide in the Academy, as well. Join us here, it’s free!
How to Grow Organic Garlic: Just a Taste!
Choose well-drained soil that has plenty of sun and plenty of compost worked in. Between October 1st and October 30th, plant individual cloves 2-3 inches deep and 6 inches apart in a row. Rows should be 6-10 inches apart depending on bed spacing and cultivation tools. If you have mulch available it will aid in reducing frost-heaving. Keep garlic well-watered and well-weeded! Feel free to harvest the delicious, spiraling scape that will appear in early/mid-June on the hardneck varieties. Harvest your bulbs beginning the first or second week of July up until mid-August with a fork or shovel once a third of the leaves are brown and dry. Cure garlic (leaves and all) out of the direct sunlight for two weeks with plenty of good air flow, clipping the necks and roots to store long-term in a dark, dry place.
Softnecks: when harvesting we like to cut the stem of the plant as close to the garlic bulb to encourage uniform drying.
Worm castings: We have recently begun to use a small handful of worm castings on top of each clove when we seed in the fall. The health and size of the garlic plants has dramatically improved- give it a try!
Late planting? As long as you can get into the garden and the ground is not frozen the garlic will do just fine. We have planted digging through the snow when we got behind and had no other choice. You might not like being out there then, but the garlic does not seem to mind.