Fall starts tomorrow, and it’s time to start thinking about planting some of the foods that need to sit all winter in the ground for harvest next year. One of those things is garlic. When you plant garlic, you plant it straight from garlic cloves.

According to Your Organic Gardening Blog, the ideal time to plant garlic is around Columbus Day (Oct. 12 this year) in most of the country -- a little later down South. Planting it this early will ensure that the plant develops a strong root system before the ground freezes.

Some other tips from the site:

  • Plant large, healthy cloves
  • Plant two to three inches deep with six inches between cloves
  • Plant root down
  • Mulch well to protect during the winter
For more detailed information on planting garlic in the fall, including when it is ready to harvest, check out Boundary Garlic Farm’s tips for growing garlic.

You can also watch this video from Kitchen Gardener’s International with the basics on how to grow your own garlic. An interesting statistic from the video: 73 percent of the garlic sold in America comes from China. If growing garlic is as easy as these sources say it is, it wouldn’t be difficult for us to make sure our garlic comes from a local source (our backyards or a container on our balcony) than from thousands of miles away.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Planting garlic in the fall
Plant garlic now for a local and abundant spring crop.