Garlic — A Low Maintenance Crop

Reader Contribution by Faithful Homesteader
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I am learning all about gardening from my husband. He is the gardener in the family, but I have been doing a few things around the garden over the years. I have a learner’s mindset and want to learn as much as I can about a variety of things. Previously, I planted some crops when my husband’s back was turned.

Last fall I planted some garlic and this week I started harvesting it. It is kind of cool to see it all full circle.

The garlic was low-maintenance. It does well in our loose and sandy soil because it doesn’t restrict bulb growth. I put it in the ground, and mid-season my husband put compost on it and watered it once. Other than that, we just let it go.

My husband did take advantage of the henbit that grows in abundance in the yard. We use it as a living ground cover. When it gets hot, it dies and provides a mulch type cover. The seeds from the henbit fall right in place for the next year.

I didn’t have any clue about when I should pick the garlic, but my husband is teaching me. He says that it is ready when the leaves start dying from the outside in. They turn yellow from the tips and eventually go all the way down.

Now I am letting the garlic dry out for a couple of days before I cut off the leaves and the roots. Once I do that, I will lay out the garlic in the kitchen to further dry out and be ready for use. We have quite a bit of the garlic, so I think I will be looking for some friends who are interested in some homegrown garlic.

I don’t imagine that I will ever be a master gardener type, but it is interesting to see how it all works. This week, I also planted some flowers for the pollinators that I will be taking care of. I hope that it is not too late in the season for them!

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