Garlic in the garden? Mark Cullen explains why now is the time
Published Wednesday, September 11, 2013 6:23AM EDT
Garlic has been in use for over 4,000 years. Some say that it is the most ancient of herbs, used by the early Egyptians. It seems to me that one of the reasons that garlic has survived as a popular herb is that it is so easy to grow. You just have to understand it's annual cycle to get the best crop.
Plant your garlic cloves in sandy, open soil in the fall. They will likely grow just enough that the new growth will poke out of the surface of the soil before the hard frost of late fall. Come spring they continue to grow - all you need to do is to keep them weed free.
In early July they produce 'scapes' or pig tail shaped stems with an edible flower at the end of each one. Every part of garlic is edible so use the scapes as you choose in your own cooking.
By early August you should remove the garlic from the ground, dry them in the sun for a couple of weeks and [if you are clever] tie them into braids using the leaves and hang them in a dry, open space until you are ready to use them.
Above all, keep them dry after harvest otherwise they will rot.