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Video:How to Plant Garlic

with Danila James

Fresh garlic from your garden is a treat that you can enjoy throughout the year. Find out how to plant garlic using just a bunch of regular cloves, and see how to care for it seasonally.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Plant Garlic

Hi there, I'm Danila James, it's a beautiful fall day here in Western New York, perfect time for me to show you, here on About.com, how to plant your very own garlic.

Supplies to Plant Garlic

Here's what you'll need:
  • a tiller, or something else to work the ground with like, a pick or a shovel
  • compost, or any rich organic fertilizer
  • garlic, separated into cloves
  • if you're planting your garlic in the fall, you will also need straw
And you're good to go.

Till the Soil

The first thing you'll need to do is loosen the top few inches of the soil. I'm using this rototiller, but if you don't have one, a shovel or pick and a hardy breakfast will work just as well. Once you've loosened the earth, throw aside any large rocks and roots that you've unearthed. And it's time for planting.

Plant the Garlic Cloves

The cloves go into the ground this way, the pointy side up. The roots will grow from the flat side, and the sprout will emerge from the tip. That means if you plant the clove upside down, the sprout will have to do a u-turn in the earth and might not survive.

The cloves should be buried around 3 inches underground. Since our soil is tilled, I can just make a hole with my finger. You've just made a little home for the garlic to go in.

Cover the Garlic Cloves

Continue this way along your row, spacing each clove roughly six inches apart. Now fill each hole with your compost or fertilizer. I got this compost from a friend's compost pile, and it will help the garlic grow big and strong. Its dark color is testament to how nutrient rich it is.

Planting Garlic Seasonally

Finally, we've come to the straw. Fall, from October to early November, is the best time to plant garlic in a temperate climate. The cloves will establish roots before the ground freezes, and will go dormant through the winter. To give them an extra edge against freezing temperatures, I'm covering my beds with a thick layer of straw, up to five inches.

Planting in the fall will produce bigger cloves, but you can also plant garlic in the early spring, when straw is not necessary.

The garlic is planted and insulated. Once the garlic emerges from the ground in the early spring, I'll remove most of the straw to help it get the sun it needs.
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