Front Yard Garlic Bed

I’m so pleased with the progress of our little garlic field. Remember when I planted it in early December? Of course you do. I’m growing a mix of organic hardneck and softneck garlic in a raised bed in our front yard. The next person who asks why I’m growing so much garlic is getting staked — because they are obviously a vampire. Who else would think this is a lot of garlic? Every savory meal starts with garlic. I love having this garlic in our front yard. All winter, through rain and sleet and snow and hail, I have been able to see green things growing in the yard. The tenacity of the garlic is inspiring.

December: Garlic sprouted through the frost.

January: the ground was frozen like the tundra, but the garlic kept growing.

February, it snowed. A lot. Garlic got bigger.

March, more like a lion than a lamb. Garlic does not mind freezing rain. Garlic gets bigger.

In a few months time, our garlic will send up its flower blossoms (called garlic scapes), which we will cut off and turn into pesto and frittatas. Removing the scape forces the garlic to put its energy into growing bigger bulbs. Scapes appear in June, usually. The bulbs start to harden off shortly after, and we should expect a harvest sometime near the end of July. Then? Our own personal garlic festival.


Filed under garden, urban farming

16 responses to “Front Yard Garlic Bed

  1. Andrea

    i always say i’m gonna grow garlic, but then when it’s winter i always forget because, well, it’s WINTER. your pictures are inspiring so maybe this will be the year i remember. mmmmmmmmgarlicmmmmmmmm.

    • I’ve heard that people with long growing seasons can plant garlic in the spring for a fall harvest, maybe you should consider putting in a little bit? Also, garlic is not like potatoes. You can grow organic garlic from the supermarket (which is, of course, not true with potatoes but I know you know that).

    • I just realized I am such a bad enabler. forgive me.

      • Andrea

        ?! I <3 having a gardening enabler. How deep does garlic need to grow? Do you think I could get away with putting any in containers? I'm so out of space to grow stuff it isn't even funny.

        • You know, I would think that it would be tough to grow garlic in pots because it’s an underground bulb, but apparently people do it! A lot.

          I did some research. It seems that most people think 6″-8″ is a good minimum depth, as long as you only plant the clove 1″ deep. I might experiment with this next year because it would be nice to have some pots of garlic that I can move around to fill in empty spots in the winter when my container garden is mostly dead stuff.

          of course you can always count on gardenweb for a myriad of opinions. here.
          here there’s some pretty specific info about soil and depth, etc.

  2. Hillary


  3. Frank

    Garlic scapes are so good. Jealous.

  4. caitlin

    my farmers harvested 5000 heads of garlic last year. i had so much garlic in my CSA. it was amazing.

    • that sounds magical. if all goes well, i hope to harvest about 40ish heads of garlic. which is a good amount, but only a tiny drop in the bucket of your farmers!

  5. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    Another Great Post!!! And, so timely!

    Today, I nominated you for the Memetastic Award…for details go to my blog at

    Happy Blogging and Honey Cheers to You!
    Hobbit Queen

  6. elspeth

    mmmm, garlic. here we grow lots and lots of garlic (enough for 100 people!) and we pickle the scapes so we can have them all winter. pickled garlic scapes are so good in salad.

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