Row by Row Episode 172: How To Be Successful Growing Garlic
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Row by Row Episode 172: How To Be Successful Growing Garlic

Row by Row Episode 172: How To Be Successful Growing Garlic

It's all about garlic!! A deep dive into the types of garlic, how to plant, best practices for growing, fertilizing, and more!

Growing Garlic

Nutrition and Health Benefits

Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound with many health benefits: an ancient plant used for flavor, health, and medicine for 5,000 years with only a small number of calories. Studies have shown that the properties of garlic can help lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and boost your immune system. It also contains antioxidants that may help people avoid Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Types of Garlic

There are over 600 named varieties, grouped into three types.

Hard-Neck (ophioscorodon) (German White)

  • Fewer but larger cloves
  • Easier to grow in cold weather
  • Stronger Flavor
  • Doesn't store as well
  • Harder to braid

Soft-Neck (sativum) (most grocery store bought is soft-neck)

  • Stores the longest
  • Mild in flavor
  • Larger bulbs and more cloves
  • Grows best inr egions with mild winters
  • Best for braiding


  • Actually, a leek.
  • Grows largest of all types
  • Has the mildest flavor
  • Stores well
  • Does not braid

How To Grow

Plant from "seed garlic" bulbs purchased or from the previous season.

  • "Store" garlic is often sprayed with growth inhibitor.
  • Seed garlic has not been sprayed
  • Seperate the cloves, do not cut them up. Plant with blunt root facing down, pointed end facing up.

You'll want to space cloves 4"-6" apart and 1"-2" deep. You should have fertile soil, well-draining is a must, pH neutral, and you should avoid planting where alliums have been planted the previous season. Organic fertilizers can help its condition if you want to take the extra step to support your growing garlic. Garlic prefers full sun, at least 6 hours of daily sunlight. Water 1" per week, let the soil dry between watering, you don't want to overwater!

Fertilize every 2-3 weeks with Dr. Joe Fertilizing Tabs (raised beds) or with 20-20-20 and Microboost (In-ground) and keep the soil moist during fertilization. Har-neck garlic varieties produce scapes around the spring and summer, by removing them, you can encourage the production of larger bulbs.

When To Harvest

You can identify garlic bulbs that are ready to be pulled from the soil when you spot green leaves growing on the sides. Check to see if the leaves at the bottom of the stem are brown - if they are, your garlic should be ready to harvest! Before pulling your bulbs, take the time to loosen the soil around the plant. You can use a digging fork but make sure you insert it away from the bulb.

Storing Your Garlic After Harvest

Let your garlic cure after harvesting it by leaving it in a cool space with good ventilation. After this period is up, you can store your harvest in a cool, and dark spot. Your garlic should not be refrigerated. Soft-neck garlic lasts longer after being harvested than hard-neck garlic. With soft-neck garlic, you can expect your bulbs to stay in good condition for 9 months to 1 year.

Alternatively, you can leave the tops on, braid your garlic, and hang them in strings. The key here is to never store them in an airtight container. Garlic bulbs should be kept in a place where they can continue to get airflow.

Products of the Week:

Root Pouch

Complete Organic Fertilizer

Dr. Joe Fertilizing Tablets

Hanging Grow Light

Watch the Complete Show on YouTube Below:

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