Planting Garlic

It’s fall, it’s cold, I have an empty garden bed and a small mountain of garlic from earlier this year just sitting around.

Clearly the only thing to do here is to plant all of it. Or most of it. Or just the whole bed. Depends on if I run out of cloves or space first.

Preparing the cloves

I have no idea how people normally get their planting cloves because I’ve only ever planted garlic by busting up a whole one.

Once. I’ve done this once. A garlic-newbie. Judge me not.

A garlic head, half-harvested.
The outside cloves come off pretty easily.

Basically, the large(r) outside cloves of a whole garlic head are removed by hand. You leave the middle cloves be, set them aside for use in cooking and so on. You get to plant your garlic and eat it too this way!

A head of garlic, the outside cloves stripped off, only leaving the inner cloves.
Save this part for eating!

Do this to all your garlic until you either have as many cloves as you want to plant, or run out of garlic. Either or.

A gnome holding a clove of garlic, standing over a bowl of garlic.


The bed in question, where our little baby-garlic to-bes get to reside over the winter, is just a raised bed filled with compost from the chicken coop. The compost in question is completely broken down. Smells like dirt, not poultry. It’s soft enough to easily poke holes for the cloves in with a gloved finger.

The cloves were planted 4″ apart, in rows spaced 6″ away from each other. The wider base of the cloves are always planted facing down, the narrow point at the top facing up. I planted mine about 1″-2″ deep.

After patting the dirt back in place, the whole bed was covered with a good, thick layer of chopped straw. How deep you need to go apparently has to do with how cold your winters get- mine went under about 2″-3″ inches of cozy straw.

And now we just wait for spring!

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