|Garlic Polish White at the Orchard|
Separate the cloves from the bulb and keep them in the house overnight. This gives the small damaged area created when separating them heal a short time before planting. It is actually best to wait a week but actually 24 hours is enough. I like to soak the cloves in fresh, cool water for several hours before planting. This should cut off a day or two in the emergence time.
|Young garlic for grilling|
Decide on your irrigation method. I like drip with inline emitters six inches apart. You could use soaker hose I guess or laser tubing but these will plug up and not last long. Acutally I like to use drip tape but I have to order it online from places like dripirrigation.com If planting in a bed, I like the drip tubing 12 inches apart. This way you can plant the entire bed with the cloves the same distance apart and not waste any space. You can plant three inches on either side of the drip tubing. In a container you will have to hand water or use a drip spray emitter probably.
I usually sidedress nitrogen once a month during the growing season. (Sidedress just means you sprinkle some high nitrogen fertilizer six inches away from the bulbs and let the irrigation water move it toward the roots. Do not broadcast the fertilizer over the tops of the plants or you could damage them). Here are the basic procedures. Or you can install an inexpensive fertilizer injector that works by venturi system.
Once planted and feritlized water them in deeply and mulch with straw or paper mulch. This helps to keep the soil moist and aids in even emergence. I would water about twice a week until you see emergence then you can probably water once a week at the most. Keep the bed free of weeds.
|Freshly harvested garlic at the Orchard. Morado Gigante.|
The last thing you harvest is the bulb itself. Watch the tops of the garlic plants. When the tops have died down about 1/3 (2/3 of the top is still green) lift the garlic plant with a spading fork or irrigate so the soil is very wet and pull the plants out of the ground.