Two years ago, I successfully grew garlic in my container garden. The garlic was not only easy to grow, it was delicious and it stored well – ours stored a good 10 months after harvest in the garage!
Last year I did not grow garlic and I’m truly sorry I omitted it from my line up. Store bought is just not the same. This fall and winter, I’m going to let most of my container beds go dormant so I can let the soil rest. I do need to add in compost to my beds and I’m debating growing a simple cover crop to keep things tidy and the nutrient content high for spring.
However, I decided I must at the very least plant some garlic! Around here, you want to plant it in October, before the frost hits. This is very similar to how you’d plant bulb flowers such as daffodils or tulips. I decided to gather enough compost for one of my containers, to get going. And here’s my frugal tip for you today (if you’re local, anyhow); TAGRO!
What’s TAGRO, you ask? Well, here’s the description from the site:
Proven safe and effective—and awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s highest rating for use in landscaping, vegetable gardens and indoor container gardens—all-natural TAGRO products are made from a blend of pasteurized wastewater byproducts called biosolids and other weed-free gardening components.
Yup, TAGRO is basically sewage products that have been treated for safe use in gardens. YUM! Before you object, let me tell you that we’ve used TAGRO before and with amazing results. It’s fabulous to top dress your lawn and for your flower beds as well. Here’s the other awesome part:
It’s FREE! Bring your buckets, truck, and shovel and have at it!
If you’re wondering where this is, it’s in the Port of Tacoma on Portland Avenue. You’ll see a series of signs, follow them! Or just follow your nose – I think the TAGRO station is where the “aroma of Tacoma” is really coming from.
City of Tacoma residents can also get TAGRO delivered for a small fee. We’ve gone this route before, splitting the delivery & cost with a neighbor, and it was very reasonable. My pal Susan told me she goes and shovels her own, so I figured if she could do it, so could I! I just brought some 5 Gallon Home Depot buckets and an old yard waste can with a lid and shoved it in the back of my SUV. It worked like a charm. The only problem was the smell was…. um, well, what you’d expect for this stuff. Windows rolled down are a must!
OK enough about my love of TAGRO.
I ordered this beautiful garlic from Territorial Seed in the summer. Can you plant garlic from the store in your yard? You probably *can*, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d stick to buying disease free, well-stored garlic intended for garden use. (But that’s just me.)
This year I wised up and ordered my garlic early so I could get the variety I really wanted to try the most! Isn’t it beautiful?
Planting garlic is ridiculously easy. Simply separate the cloves….
and plant them individually about 4-6″ apart and 1-2″ deep. That’s it. Usually I just eyeball spacing, but this year I decided to be a bit more intentional about things.
I also set all the cloves down to double-check for spacing before I covered them all up. We should be neat and tidy come spring!
Here is my planted container!
Well in early spring, I should look for the buds to pop through. Here is how my garlic looked in early May of 2011:
As the plants mature, you might get some scapes, which are the gangly looking middle stems of the plant.
They are edible and make a lovely, distinctive pesto…
I harvested my garlic that late July. But while the time involved may seem like a lot, it’s really no-fuss to grow!
And then there’s the moment when it’s all worth the wait…
Will you be growing garlic this year?