Planting Garlic In Fall
It is time to plant garlic in the fall if you are planting to harvest next summer. You can start planting in September, but a lot of folks wait until October. You just need to do it early enough to give the cloves a change to get a root on them. Growing garlic is pretty easy in that basically you plant the cloves and then next year you watch for the right time to dig it up and dry it.
When harvesting you need to let some of the leaves die down but not all of them. The leaves on the plant begin to turn yellow from the bottom of the plant and the yellowing leaves keep moving up. I find the best heads of garlic I get is when the plant has ten leaves to start with and I wait for five to still be green. You need to leave some green because this is what will make the paper that is around each clove as the heads dry. You also need to let half of the leaves dry first or you will have small heads.
Homestead Blessings shares how to plant the garlic in their video and they show how to separate the heads into cloves and explain why you should make sure the paper stays on each clove. If you have garlic that you grew then use the biggest bulbs as seed so you end up with nice bulbs again. You can grow garlic with garlic from farmers markets and sometimes even garlic from the store will work. At the end of the season any garlic you don’t dig up will go to flower.
A large flower will form above the yellowed leaves and if left alone this flower will make a whole bunch of little garlic bulblets which can also be used as seed garlic. You just break the flower apart to get all the little seeds and plant them with the pointed end up. You will probably have to leave these in the ground for 2 and possible three years. I did this with some hard neck garlic that I got the little seed of from a friend and it took three years.
You want the plant to have at least ten leaves or the garlic is going to be very small. Mine just kept coming back every year and the third year I got ten leaves and some very nice bulbs of garlic. For planting the garlic in fall watch the video below so you can see how its done.