Growing Garlic is easy; its harvesting time is mid of the summer and planted in the early winter or early spring. Garlic should be harvested when its tops just begin yellowish and fall over.
Grow your own garlic, rather than risk buying subpar garlic from the mart or grocery store. Garlic is a rewarding plant to grow at home.
Garlic has strong flavor and culinary uses; beyond that garlic also act as an insect repellent in the garden and people using it as a home remedy from centuries.

alt="Young White Garlic Picture"
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Planting Season for Garlic

Typically, garlic is planted in early winter, so that its roots can develop underground before the ground freezes in winter and they start to produce foliage as the spring starts.
In areas with hard frost, planting is usually at least 8 weeks before the first frost
In areas with cool climate, planting is usually in between the months of September and November.
In areas with warm climate with mild winters, Garlic is planted usually in February or March.

Site Selection for Garlic

Garlic needs warm and sunny climate, it can tolerate a little or partial shade for a short time in a day during growing season but not for a long time. Well-drained   Sandy soil is best for garlic growth. Use organic matter compost and manure to add nutrients in the soil before garlic’s plantation.

Seed Selection for Garlic

Buy Garlic seeds from any reliable seed company or nearest nursery or Buy Garlic seed or just use organic garlic balls from grocery store, do not buy conventional garlic pearls from the grocery store, because they might be sprayed with growth suppressant chemicals.
For planting, get big garlic bulbs and break it into cloves few days before the planting, but do not peel the papery husk on each bulb.  Only use the big cloves for planting, do not use the smaller cloves in the middle of the bulb.
Place cloves in soil 3 to 4 inches apart and 2 inches deep, in their upright position (the wide root side facing down and pointed end facing up). 

 Garlic Plant Care

Garlic plants need average amount of water, but newly plant needs moisture to help its roots grow. If rain does not fall for a long time then water the plants well once in a week.
Reduce water supply gradually as the garlic getting mature in summer, Garlic bulbs develop well in hot and dry weather.

Harvesting Garlic

Here are some tips and techniques for getting abundant high quality garlic harvest, that is storable for longer periods.
Seasonal temperatures, Soil quality and many other environmental factors affect harvest season length. Many Softneck garlic varieties take approximately 6 months from fall through spring to reach mature bulb size.
While artichoke varieties in ideal conditions may have maximum bulb size in 4 to 5 months period. On the other hand, Silverskin varieties may require 7-9 months for getting good bulb size.
 Fertilizing and amending Garlic should be stopped few months before harvest season. Water supply should be gradually minimize and entirely discontinued 2-3 weeks before harvesting.
Garlic is almost ready for harvesting when yellowish leaves begin to turn brown. This process start from the lower leaves and continues upward.
Harvest Garlic when half of lower plant leaves start turning brown. Accurate harvest timing is important. In early harvest, bulbs may not be matured enough and their paper covering may be thinner, which will reduce their storage life.
In late harvest, (When all plant leaves are yellow or brown) cloves may burst through skin, which also lead to shorten storage period.
To harvest garlic remove the entire bulb from below. A garden fork is preferred to a trowel because the fork minimizes the damage to bulbs, which results in good curing and longer storage period. To loosen the soil for removing the plant, work around and underneath the bulb at a distance of an inch or two.
When harvesting, avoid contacting with the bulb, pulling by hand or facing which may split or harm bulbs and cloves. Any damage to bulbs or cloves will cause rapid deterioration and shorten the storage period.

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Garlic bulbs are cured after harvest, especially when storing more than a few weeks. Protect bulbs from exposing to sunlight after harvest and while curing.
Curing process is necessary to harden the skins on bulbs and to close off vascular tissues in stems. Smaller bulbs may take a week or two during warm weather to fully cure, while larger bulbs may take 4 to 6 weeks during cold weather or under humid weather conditions.
Garlic are cured either indoors or outdoors and in a shaded, dry air circulated area.

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Storage Instructions for Garlic

When the wrappers become dry and papery and their roots are dry, now the bulbs are cured and ready for storage. Make sure that the root crown should be hard and the cloves are easily cracked.
When the garlic bulbs become dry, they can be stored. Clean the dirt and trim off any leaves or roots. Keep the clean wrappers while remove the dirty ones. Remove tops and roots.
Bulbs should be stored in cool, dark and dry place, and can be saved for several months in the same way. Do not store in moist place! Do not store in refrigerator.
The flavor increases as the garlic bulbs are old and dried. If stored properly, garlic lasts until the next crop is harvested.
If you plan to plant garlic again in next season, Save a few of your best-formed and largest bulbs for next crop.

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