November 17, 2016
A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat. –Anonymous
It’s been a few years since I’ve planted garlic. I lost my confidence for awhile after sweet peas overtook the garlic one year. Another drought year we didn’t get much rainfall and I didn’t give enough supplemental water. See my post on Garlic: Crop Failure for some links on how to plant and grow garlic.
This year I layered about two inches of compost on the planting area with a good dusting of organic vegetable fertilizer. The soil was very loose since the beds were just filled this fall. The large cloves of garlic settled comfortably into the rich soil and I gave each one a slight twist to ensure its placement.
Here’s a corner of my 2′ x 4′ planting of garlic. Plenty of mulch–some grass clippings first then a couple inches of leaves. I soaked the bed and will need to pay attention this season. Five years of drought means I can’t grow garlic without maintaining adequate soil moisture..
Garlic may be hard to find now, though you might locate varieties that grow well in your area on an internet search. The Gourmet Garlic Gardens website features garlic growers all around the US and you order directly from the grower. The website is folksy with pictures of the families on their farms.
For southern California gardeners, check out the PowerPoint, Growing Garlic in Southern California. Everything you need to know is there.
For a quick and dirty summary of how to grow garlic there’s Garlic World in Gilroy, CA. Gilroy is home of the annual Garlic Festival and the largest garlic factory in the world.
The air of Provence was particularly perfumed by the refined essence of this mystically attractive bulb. –Alexandre Dumas