A simple way to keep your garden productive all winter long is to plant garlic in the fall.
Garlic practically takes care of itself, and growing your own gives you the opportunity to try a remarkable array of varieties that are rarely available in the supermarket, including ones with purplish pink, red, pearly white, or silvery skins.
Check out the steps below.
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Plant garlic from mid-September through mid-October. Break a garlic bulb apart into individual cloves, being careful to keep the papery skins covering each clove intact. Then fill a quart jar with water and mix in one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of liquid seaweed. Soak the cloves in this mixture for two hours prior to planting to prevent fungal disease and encourage vigorous growth.
In the meantime, prepare your bed for planting. Garlic grows best in rich, well-drained soil that is free of weeds. Dig a furrow about 3 inches deep. Place the presoaked cloves into the furrow, spacing them 6 to 8 inches apart. Be sure the flat root end is down and the pointy end is up.
Cover the cloves with 2 inches of soil and sidedress the furrow with compost or scratch in granulated organic fertilizer. Water the bed in well and cover it with 6 to 8 inches of straw mulch. You should see shoots poking through the mulch in four to six weeks. The garlic stops growing in the winter months and resumes in spring.