Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trying my hand at garlic

Late last fall I came across an article on growing garlic that really peaked my interest.  When I started looking for bulbs it was late October and everyone was sold out!  The Northern folks probably already had their garlic in the ground for weeks before I even though about ordering.  Generally speaking, garlic grows better in cooler areas as the bulbs should be planted in the Fall when soil temperature is at least down to 60*.  The bulbs need plenty of chilling hours before Spring to be able to form. We don't have a whole lot of cold weather and that makes me a little worried!  I have found several local farmers who are growing garlic with great success, though, so I do have hope!

This year I was a little more prepared and started looking through seed catalogs.  The garlic you get from the grocery store is usually sprayed with an anti-sprouting chemical and is probably grown with nasty pesticides!!   My first choice was to order from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange because I was planning on getting other seeds along with the garlic bulbs.  I decided to to nix the seeds to be able to focus more on the garlic and began searching for individuals offering bulbs for sale.  I hopped on one of my favorite websites, Local Harvest and found Bobbette's Naturally Grown Produce, a certified naturally grown small farm out of Liberty, KY.   I purchased  a softneck artichoke variety called Inchelium Red and Heirloom Cherokee, a hardneck variety.  I'm looking forward to seeing which will do the best for me!

For the bed I tilled up a 6 1/2' x 6 1/2' bed in a sunny spot and used old fence posts for the edges.  I added in top soil and mushroom compost, then tilled again to incorporate the different soils together.  Our soil is pretty sandy and drains well, but I wanted to add more organic matter.   My garlic has already made it in (I ordered on Tuesday and got it on Friday!!) but I am waiting for cooler weather to put it in the ground... it's been in the mid 80's all week.  After planting I will add a heavy coat of mulch to keep the weeds at bay and then fish emulsion for fertilizer in the Spring.  Wish me luck!!!  :)


  1. Garlic sounds like it will be an awesome herb to grow yourself. Good luck! I think I'll be stealing your idea for next Autumn since we're still in an apartment at the moment.

    Hopefully not for much longer though! We've started to house hunt. :D

  2. Awesome!! Good luck on the house hunting and becomming a full on Southerner!

  3. I look forward to hearing about how garlic does in your climate/zone. Do you remember where the article was that you read?

  4. Hi Angie! I can't remember where the article was, but I'll see if I've still got it written down somewhere! I've done so much reading that it's all starting to run together! I do have an update that I'm working on!


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