Garlic: A Winter Garden for Amateur Gardeners

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An Overview of the Planting and Growing Process of Garlic

As someone who is not saavy in the methods for gardening, and certainly not born with a green thumb, I often find it challenging to successfully keep even my ivy houseplants alive.    As a new adventure in my gardening interests, considering I’m a lover of food, I elected to pick one item to grow in a homegarden in an effort to determine if I could master one basic skill; not killing the plant.   For this process, I chose garlic.  As a winter plant, garlic provides for a unique opportunity to care for a plant through the winter months.  The following is a successful process to ensure maximum growth of the common garlic plant. 

Considered an easy plant for gardening, garlic will grow, in varying degrees, based on how well the soil and seedings are prepared.   As with any gardening adventure, preparing the soil properly is key to the foundation of success.   For common garlic, the soil Ph balance must be above 6.0 and can be measured using a common gardening Ph testing kit.    In the southern areas of the country, such as Texas, where temperatures remain warm during the autumn season, garlic can be planted and will lie dormant with seeds beginning to sprout and root development occurring through the winter months. 

In the spring, as the warmer temperatures set in, the garlic plant will sprout.  In fact, the planting of garlic seeds in the autumn months is highly encouraged as this will allow sufficient time for the garlic to root and sprout with the first warming temperatures.  As a general rule, May is the month in which garlic will sprout the quickest.   The key to harvesting garlic cloves lies in the color of the garlic plant leaves which begin to turn brown as the garlic cloves mature.   For more potent and flavorful garlic, allowing the sprouted garlic bulbs to lie in the ground for as long as possible, only harvesting when absolutely necessary, will produce a more potent garlic flavor.