We’ve been having the most amazing fall season this year! The weather has been really warm and the colors have been so bright and vivid. I always love fall, but this year has been extra amazing. 🙂 We decided to take advantage of the extra beautiful days and do a little fall gardening this year after we got the garden all cleaned up from the summertime plantings. Of course there are so many gardening projects that can be done in the fall and a lot of things that you can grow too, but this is a really quick and easy one that really just gives you another excuse to linger out in the garden a little bit longer and enjoy all that fall scenery. And then next year you’ll have your own garlic that you grew yourself! How neat is that?
We’ve been wanting to get into making a few videos for quite awhile and since all the fall colors are at their peak right now, this little project seemed like the perfect opportunity. Chris put this one together as he was planting to give you a nice overview of the project. Watch the video and then scroll down and read the post for step-by-step pictures and a full explanation of the process.
Here’s how you can plant your own garlic this fall!
Start out by choosing a spot. You’ll want it to be somewhere that you’ll be able to leave undisturbed next spring so that your garlic can continue growing then. We chose a spot in the herb garden at one end of the garden next to all of the perennial herbs that we’ll be mostly leaving right where they are next year.
Next you’ll need to choose your garlic. The fun thing about this project is that you can use just about any garlic you want! Regular garlic from the grocery store will work just fine, but if you want to be fancy about it, you can also visit your garden center to buy garlic sets for more exotic types of garlic. I just picked some up at the grocery store of course, because I always like to keep things easy-peasy whenever I can! I guess this garlic still counts as “fancy garlic” though because it was a local Canadian heritage variety that was in special packaging, but it was still just regular garlic meant for cooking with and not special “growing garlic”.
You’ll want to separate your head (or heads) of garlic in to separate little cloves next. You’ll need to do this very carefully to make sure that you keep the papery skins intact and don’t damage the individual cloves. So definitely don’t use my garlic peeling trick for this! 🙂
Work the soil in your planting area down fairly deeply, about 8-10″ and try to break up the soil and make it as light and fluffy as possible.
Make little holes in your planting spot about 4 inches apart and about 2 inches deep and plant your cloves with the flat side down and the pointy side up.
Sorry about the blurry picture there! We were trying to figure out if it would be a good idea for these posts with videos in them to pull the photos directly from the video for consistency and to be able to explain things really clearly. The answer we came up with is maybe yes, maybe no. Some shots seemed to work out really well, and others not so much! But you get the idea of this step anyway, you’re smart people. 🙂
Cover them cloves with soil, water with a bit of fertilizer and then mulch well to keep the garlic protected through the winter!
A few more tips for your garlic!
Try to plant your garlic about a month or so before the ground freezes in your area.
Garlic usually prefers well-drained, slightly sandy soil, so mix in a bit of sand while you’re working the soil if you think that’s necessary for your type of soil.
Clear away most of the mulch from your garlic planting area in the spring after all threat of frost has passed.
Cut back any flower shoots that appear in the spring as these may decrease your overall bulb size.
Harvest your garlic the next summer after planting when you see the tops starting to turn yellow and fall over.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.