When we think about planting spring’s daffodils, tulips and crocus, we think about planting bulbs in fall. Garlic isn’t any different; it’s planted in the fall as well.
Where do you buy garlic? You can go to your garden center and buy it there. Or you can go to the grocery store and buy cloves from the vegetable bin to plant.
Garlic likes a nice, loose soil. You might want to work compost into it. I use a small rake to turn the soil up. You want the garlic to expand and grow in the nice, loose soil.
To plant, pull the skin back and the cloves apart like you would if you were getting ready to make a recipe, then dig down about 2 inches and put the clove point up in the hole. Cover the clove with soil and tamp it down. Move over about 6 inches, put in another clove and cover it.
You may not see growth until next spring. In the meantime, to keep track of where you put the cloves, place small markers near them or at least at the row of garlic so you don’t plant something else over the top of it next spring.
In late spring or early summer, when the tops have grown and start to fade and bend over, they’re ready to be pulled. Put them in a cool, dry and shady area to let them harden and the skin cure. Then take them inside and store them in a cool, dry place where they won’t sprout too soon.
You can save some of those bulbs for planting next year. After you’ve made your initial purchase, you’ll have enough to keep going for many years to come.
These instructions have been edited for length. Evelyn Neier is a youth gardening specialist with Kansas State University Research and Extension. To see a video of her planting garlic or to get your gardening questions answered on The Star’s KC Gardens blog by university extension experts, go to KCGardens.KansasCity.com.