Growing Garlic – Take 2

We’ve tried this once before– with clearance bin garlic bulbs… and it did not work. We never got a single bit of real growth, which I knew was a very good probability. So this time, we’re going about it completely differently.

Garlic is a species of the onion genus Allium. This means it is related to onions, leeks, chives, shallots and the like. It is native to Central Asia and northeast Iran, but has been cultivated worldwide for a very long time. The individual segments of a garlic bulb are called cloves.

Garlic has long been held as a medicinal plant with great healing properties. In Chinese medicine it is considered an aid for both respiratory and digestive ailments. It is an extremely nutrient dense food with low calories and is classified as a super food.

It grows well in just about any garden, as long as you start out with quality cloves to plant with. It does best in rich, nutrient dense soil with good drainage to prevent root rot. It also should not be planted where previous Alliums have been planted.

For large bulbs, plant in mid autumn for a harvest the following summer. You can plant in spring, but your harvest will not be as large, nor will it store as well.

So here’s how we planted our second chance crop of garlic-

First- we did set up the patch in the same way, lots of alpaca pooh tilled in and let to rest for a few weeks. But the spot was different. We chose a slight incline closer to the shed. This is to keep the water from pooling and causing the root rot I mentioned above.


Second- we are planting in the fall this time, mulching the area with spent hay from the alpacas kicking it around their barn.

Third- we are using all organic bulbs fresh from the grocer and a family friend. We don’t have any idea what type they are, but that is less important to us then the fact that they aren’t dead, practically dust and therefore a waste of time to plant.


So MrGillis tilled in the alpaca pooh, and in rows about 18″ apart, he placed the cloves about 6 inches apart, about 2 inches deep into the amended soil.

He then covered the cloves with dirt and covered the dirt with about 6 inches of old hay from the alpaca barn. He did this the first weekend of October on a beautifully clear and warm day.

Here is what the end product of planting looks like-


So now we wait until spring to see if we actually got the bulbs in the ground at the right time. They should have enough time to grow some root stock, but not enough time to actually GROW which is what we want for a successful harvest next summer.

Until next time, have a wicked good day!



Want to know how our garlic held up over the winter? Head on over to our Spring Update Blog!

Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Growing Garlic – Take 2

  1. Can’t wait! I have had dismal luck with garlic so far. I planted too early and we have baking hot summer’s, so they didn’t mature to anything. We now have tonnes of straw and goose poop, so maybe that will help next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keep trying! Garlic is so important for a homestead to have around. I really think we have it figured out for our place this time- good hardy starting cloves, over wintering and a healthy dose of alpaca poop. Good luck with your next try.


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