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How to Plant and Store Garlic

By: Gayle A. Alleman

Giddy for Garlic Around the Globe

Garlic adds the spice of life to foods in countries all around the world. Along with ginger and onions, garlic flavors many of the foods of Southeast Asia. Teamed with tahini, it makes Middle-Eastern foods dining delights. Combined with chili peppers, garlic adds spark to Latin cuisine.

Garlic is a low-maintenance, high-flavor herb that is very versatile. Bring garlic's robust flavor and health benefits to your own kitchen by adding it to your favorite foods. Now that you've seen how easy it is to grow and store your own garlic, there's no excuse to not at add this healthful food to your diet.


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Gayle Povis Alleman is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in traditional nutrition from Western Washington University and a master's degree in alternative nutrition from Bastyr University. This varied background allows her to bring together the best of both approaches to offer research-based, holistic information about wholesome foods, nutrition, and health. As a writer, educator, and speaker, she encourages people to achieve optimum health through food, nutrients, and physical activity.

Plant Garlic FAQ

How deep do you plant garlic?
Bury the cloves in the loose, fertile soil so the tips are about 2 inches beneath the surface of the soil and the cloves are 4 to 6 inches apart.
How long does it take to grow garlic?
It's time to harvest your garlic when the green tops dry out and turn yellow-brown. This is typically about three to four months into the growing season -- late summer or early fall.
Can you plant garlic from the grocery store?
You can try planting the garlic you buy from your local grocery store, but some grocery store garlic is treated with a sprout inhibitor that disrupts the natural growing cycle.
Why do you have to plant garlic in the fall?
Planting in the fall lengthens the growing time so bulbs get a jump start on spring and can grow larger.
Do I peel garlic before planting?
To plant garlic, gently remove the outer skin from the entire bulb and separate the individual cloves, taking care not to damage them. Leave in place the thin papery skin that covers each clove.