Garlic is an incredible multi-purpose plant. From the genus Allum, it is a close relative of other plants like the onion, shallot, leek and chive. Garlic is also so easy to grow in your own garden—here’s how to get started:

Step 1 – Prep your garden bed

The first thing you will need to do is prepare a space for your garlic to grow. You have a few options here; a vegetable garden plot in your backyard, planter boxes, or just flower pots on your balcony. An important thing to remember when using planters or pots is to ensure that they have proper drainage, so that excess water can flow out. Garlic calls for really fertile soil, as it sits in the ground over the winter, so try getting your hands on some fresh compost to really make your garlic flourish.

Step 2 – Get ready to plant

First, go to your local garden supply store and ask for seed garlic—it is specially produced for planting, and will result in a better crop. Make sure to plant in the fall at least 30 days before your first frost date. Next crack your garlic bulbs but don’t remove the skin as you would usually do when you’re cooking, as this protects your garlic as it grows.

Step 4 – Planting

Before you put your cloves into the soil, make sure that they are going in vertically, with the papery tip facing up, and the flatter side facing down towards the earth. You can plant each clove individually, or dig a row about 1.5 – 2” deep, and keep 2” of space between each clove so they have room to grow! Then just cover up the garlic, and give it a good sprinkle of water.

Step 5 – Protect your garlic

Into December, as the temperatures start to fall, you’ll need to give your garlic a little protection. After a few nights where it drops below freezing, cover your garlic in a thin layer of mulch (about 2-3”). When the snow melts in the spring you’ll start to see sprouts, and your garlic will be ready to harvest in late spring or summer when the leaves start to turn brown.

Take a look at this video for more info!

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