A Garlic How-To: My Favorite Medicinal Plant
When a friend of mine gave me my first garlic bulbs to plant, I did not realize that garlic would become one of my favorite garden plants. I'm not sure why I get excited about planting it in the fall. Maybe because it is one of the first green things to come up in my garden in the Spring, that's not a weed!
I love the taste of garlic in soups and stews, and it adds healing benefits to the already healing bone broth I use for making our soups and stews. As a wannabe herbalist, I use herbalism for the healing of minor illnesses. Garlic is a great immune booster. It is fun to make concoctions with garlic and see that the herbs, in fact, do work.
Back to planting Garlic...
I usually plant around Columbus Day, so that it has enough time to root out before the ground is frozen, but not enough time to come out of the ground. You can plant as late as the end of October. One year I didn't get my garlic in until October 25th and I had a good crop.
I start out by prepping the garlic bed. I use a fork and loosen up a 4x4 area. I think last year I planted about 150 cloves. Yes, I use that much garlic and save the best and biggest garlic bulbs for seed.
I then push the garlic bottom (the side with the roots) down in the ground about 2 inches. I space 4-6 inches in all directions.
Cover with a light layer of compost.
Last year I added wood chips, just enough to cover about a 1/2 in. to 1in. It was the first year that I did not have weeds take over the garlic. I am trying to build up my soil by making it fungal dominated so that it does not support weeds. I think I am finally starting to make headway.
The finished Garlic bed.
Good Night garlic! See you in the Spring!