When Thanksgiving comes around here in Virginia
that means it’s Garlic Planting time!
I don’t claim to be a gardening expert, but it is something I enjoy immensely.
And I do believe garlic makes most savory recipes better.
So why not grow some garlic?
We didn’t plant garlic in our garden when I was growing up.
But my father-in-law taught me how to raise it,
and it’s a very simple thing to grow, with minimal work.
Sometime around Thanksgiving is the time for planting in our area.
(We’re in zone 7.)
From what I read, wherever you live,
garlic should be planted a few weeks after the first frost,
but before the ground is really frozen.
And where do you get the seed garlic?
Well, I’ve heard different thoughts on the subject.
Some say only buy from a nursery or seed source.
Others say you can plant what you buy at the grocery store,
but only use organic garlic, which wouldn’t be treated by a sprout inhibitor.
Honestly, what I’ve been planting the past few years is just regular ol' garlic,
the cheapest thing I could find at the grocery store!
The Sharp Shopper store has five heads for $1.19. Not bad.
For what it’s worth, what my father-in-law plants is
seed garlic from an expensive organic company.
And I must say, his plants did look better than mine
all through the past growing season.
But when they were dug up, the grocery store heads
were just as nice as the ‘spensive ones.
So I figured I’d go with the grocery store method again.
We just break the heads apart, and put each clove
in its own hole, tip up, ready to grow.
We make rows of holes about 7” apart
and plant the garlic about 3” deep.
Here in Virginia, the garlic is usually ready to harvest sometime in June.
You know it’s ready whenever the leaves are dead enough
that they flop over and bow down to the ground.
Just pull up the stalks and shake off the dirt.
I spray the bulbs off with a hose right away so they’re nice and clean,
and then let them “cure” in a dry place out of the sun.
You don’t want them to stay wet very long!
Here’s last summer’s garlic,
hanging in the garage, curing.
Garlic is an easy thing to grow.
And since I never seem to plant enough to last more than a month or two,
we upped our number this year to around a hundred cloves.
Maybe that will last a bit longer!?
We shall see.
"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,
for we brought nothing into the world,
and we cannot take anything out of the world.
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
1 Timothy 6:6-8