Garlic

If garlic is a frequent addition to your cooking, you may also find it a good addition to your vegetable or herb garden. Garlic requires little care and is generally pest and disease-free.

Buy garlic cloves from the supermarket if you're cheap or in a hurry, or order cloves from a northern seed company for more consistent results. Cloves should be separated just before planting, and using the largest cloves will give the largest bulbs. Make sure the pointed end is up, and give each clove five or six inches all around.

The best time to plant garlic is in the fall (mid-September to early October). Gardeners in very cold climates may need to mulch the bulbs over the winter, but this planting time ensures that the bulbs will mature before the end of the next summer. If you didn't get around to it in the fall, plant before the end of April. The bulbs will not be harmed by cold temperatures. 

Removing flowers from hardneck types of garlic when they appear will improve the size and quality of the bulbs. Keep the plants evenly moist and weed-free for best results, then wait for the tops to die back. Pull the bulbs and dry them out of the sun, then either trim the tops and roots and store in mesh bags, or braid the tops together. Store at less than 20 degrees Celsius in a dry location, and they should keep six months to a year.

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