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How to Grow Allium Sativum

Allium sativum is another name for a plant that is one of a cook's best friends in the kitchen. Most people know this well-loved plant as garlic. Gardeners who enjoy cooking usually find room for at least one or two bulbs of allium sativum in a sunny corner of the garden. Garlic cloves planted in the soil will produce new bulbs of garlic by the middle summer for use in a variety of ways in the kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Garlic cloves
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • Mulch
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    • 1

      Prepare a sunny growing location in the autumn. Improve the soil quality, if necessary, to create a well-draining soil. Work the soil down approximately 5 inches and add 1 inch of compost to the top of the soil. Work the compost into the soil.

    • 2

      Dig small holes for each allium sativum clove that are between 6 and 8 inches apart. Place the cloves in the holes so that the tops of the cloves are just below the surface of the soil and the flat side of the clove (the root side) is pointing down. Pat the soil firmly around the cloves. Water the cloves immediately after planting.

    • 3

      Place about 6 inches of shredded mulch over the cloves to protect them during the winter. Leave the mulch on the cloves the next spring as well, because it will continue keeping the soil moist and preventing weeds.

    • 4

      Give the garlic cloves 1 inch of water every week when the growing season starts the following spring. Do not water after June 1, however. This will enable the garlic bulbs to become firm.

    • 5

      Watch for scapes to sprout (the stems of the plant)t, as the allium sativum cloves get closer to harvest time. Cut off the scapes near the soil line to help the bulbs grow more vigorously.

    • 6

      Harvest garlic bulbs in the end of June or the beginning of July. Watch for the leaves to turn yellow and then dig up each garlic bulb. Be careful not to pull the bulbs out by the sprouts because you may damage the plant.

    • 7

      Take the harvested allium sativum bulbs inside and tie between five and 10 bulbs together. Hang them upside down for at least one month in a sheltered and dry area. Air moving through the storage area would be beneficial for drying the garlic bulbs.

    • 8

      Trim the roots off the bulbs when they are dried. Cut the stalks down so that about 1-1/2 inches extend from the bulbs.