Growing Garlic for Summer Harvest
Summer has finally come to a close, but there are still lots of things to do and grow in the garden. Fall veggies such as broccoli, beets, kale, onions and some lettuces/spinach are all great to be planting now, along with all your bulbs for spring, including Garlic. Planting garlic now, will ensure a wonderful summer harvest with minimal effort on your part!
There are basically 2 types of garlic, Softneck and Hardneck, with sub-types within each family.
Softneck garlic is traditionally the type that you would find in the grocery store…it is great for storing and braiding, having a long shelf life and a mild flavor. This is also a better variety for gardeners that live in a milder climate. They do not form scapes but they tend to mature quicker than the hardneck varieties.
Hardneck garlic has a stronger often spicier flavor, but does not store as long as Softneck. It is also a better choice for Northern gardeners and is the best option if you want to enjoy garlic scapes (the central stalk like that comes up in the spring), they tend to produce fewer cloves, but they are often larger with a stronger spicier flavor. Planting one of each variety to see which works better for you is a great option.
Good drainage, organic matter and sun is essential for good growth. Choosing large firm bulbs will produce a good crop of garlic in the summer. Break the garlic bulbs into individual cloves and plant each clove root end down about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. Garlic will benefit greatly from an early spring feeding of nitrogen (EB Stone’s Bat Guano is a great option) and will help your garlic produce large healthy bulbs. For more information visit Irish Eyes Garden Seeds at: http://irisheyesgardenseeds.com/growing-directions