Have you ever thought about planting garlic bulbs during fall? Garlic grown in late autumn tends to be bigger, tastier and just plain better, probably because the roots have all winter to get established before the heat of summer sets in.
Plant garlic two to three weeks after the first frost in autumn, but before winter arrives in earnest. This way, the garlic has time to develop roots – but not shoots — before temperatures get seriously cold. Garlic can tolerate severe cold, but too much top growth can put the plants in jeopardy. On the other hand, if you wait too long, the cloves won’t have time to produce a few healthy roots. If you live in a mild climate, you can wait until the end of the year.
Now that we’ve determined the best planting time, here’s everything you need to know, step by step.
Purchase clean, firm garlic bulbs and plant them. It’s best not to use bulbs from the grocery store, which are treated with substances that prevent sprouting and make them last longer in your refrigerator.
Prepare a sunny spot in your garden by digging in an inch or two of organic matter such as decomposed manure or compost.