When the winter days are slow and cold it's time to think about planting your garlic cloves for next seasons crop. Many say plant your garlic cloves on the shortest day of the year. Which is fine, but often the ground can be very wet from winter rains. So to get around this you can plant your cloves in a pot or container until the ground have dried out. If you don’t have spare garden space garlic will happily grow in pots and containers.
Garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow. You plant the individual cloves within the bulb. Plant the largest cloves you have, to get the largest bulbs. Plant each garlic clove 5 to 7 cms below the soil surface and about 10 to 15 cms apart. Your garlic should grow well if given the following conditions:Well-drained fertile soil in full sun. Minimal weed competition Plenty of organic matter – compost, manure, straw etc Plenty of water through the warmer months when the bulb is forming
Don't pull garlic out of the ground. You may have planted a small clove; put the bulb is now many times the size it was with a strong root system. When to harvest garlic is a judgement call, but basically it’s ready to go when the lower leaves start to brown. About the only way to be sure is to actually dig a few bulbs and slice them in half.
Brush off any soil clinging to the bulbs. Allow the bulbs to cure or dry for three to four weeks in either a well-ventilated room or a dry, shady spot outside. Once the tops and roots have dried they can be cut off. You can also further clean the bulbs by removing the outer skins. Just be careful not to expose any of the cloves.