Garlic prefers cool weather when developing foliage, and warm weather
when bulbs enlarge. Fall plantings take about 8 months to mature.
a weed-free, well-drained location. Raised beds are ideal. Do not plant
where other onion family crops have been grown in the past 3 years.
New York, plant from about the time of first fall frost to early
November. If your soil is loose and well-prepared, you can plant in
very early spring, but fall plantings usually yield more.
cloves from the supermarket is not recommended. They may carry diseases
or have been treated to discourage sprouting. Most are also from
varieties that are not well-adapted to New York's climate. Purchase
bulbs from mail order suppliers, garden center, or other local source.
bulbs apart at planting time, keeping papery husks on the individual
cloves. Plant with tips up, 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in
rows 15 to 24 inches apart. Plant elephant garlic varieties about 3
inches deep and 8 to 12 inches apart.
Mulch heavily after
planting to prevent soil heaving - particularly with less-hardy
elephant garlic varieties. Roots will begin to grow even though
topgrowth may not be evident in late fall and winter. Remove mulch in
spring, leaving only what is needed to suppress weeds.
For larger bulbs, remove woody flower stalks (scapes) as they appear. Bulblets at top of scape can be used in cooking.
large cloves to produce the largest bulbs. Plant smaller cloves at
closer spacings or in patches for harvest as garlic greens. Save
largest bulbs for planting your next crop.