There is still time to plant garlic for next year. You have to the 2nd , 3rd week in Nov. to plant. If you don't have a regular garden, but like garlic, you can plant it anywhere you have dirt. If you don't care for garlic, but have roses, and deer, it is perfect for planting around the rose bushes , a few cloves per bush.
There are two basic types of garlic that are found at the grocery, hardnecks -"Northern White", and softnecks - "German Red".
Hardnecks are larger, more flavorful, and easier to peel. Softnecks are smaller, harder to peel each clove, but that makes them great for longer storage.
You can buy a garlic bulb at the grocery , if you are not near a seed store, and separate the cloves and plant them - use the largest outside cloves first , save the smaller cloves for cooking. Do not peel the cloves. Plant the flat end down , the point , up, cover with 3" of soil , plant 4"- 8" apart...if you are growing in a regular garden bed - if not , as around roses..the depth is still needed , but not the distance. Mulch over the cloves, and wait until next year!!!
Garlic is ready to harvest from July to August. Bulbs are ready to harvest when the leaves have turned yellow and withered. To harvest , carefully dig up the bulbs , roots and all , leaving the stems attached. Garlic needs to be seasoned after digging. This is called curing, and can take 2- 6 weeks depending on the weather. Any dry , airy and shady location will do - they can be hung under a covered porch, as long as the sun does not hit them. Simply bundle the garlic by the stems in groups of 10-20, and hang to dry. If you have the space, you can lay them individually on a screen to dry, turning them once a week.
When the garlic has cured, trim the roots and cut the stems to 1" of the bulb.Store in cool, dry, dark space. Well - ventilated, garlic containers are sold just for this purpose - with lids, and holes around the sides - they can be copper, ceramic, any material. You can also just leave them hanging......bring them in from the porch tho, come winter!!! And hang from a ceiling hook- out of direct sun. Cut off bulbs as you need them. Hardnecks last up to 6 mos., if stored in containers, softnecks, almost a year.
This is the last garden project I do, for the year. I plant garlic all around my roses and any other flowers I don't want to deer to enjoy....and I harvest it, the same as if it were in a regular bed. Some of the fun of gardening is that you can plant anything, anywhere......it will compliment your flowers, and shrubs, and it is fun to try and remember where you DID plant things!!!
There is also a perennial known as garlic chives,they return each year, and spread slowly, and do the same thing - keep deer, and rabbits away from your flower beds, and even in the vegetable garden. The green stems of these garlic chives are cut the same as you would regular onion chives, and frozen, or just used when you need them for a recipe. They will flower, and are pretty towards the Fall. No digging required!!! They return year after year, very hardy. something green, then white..in the flower beds......they die down in the Fall. A very easy herb to grow and maintain, and eat. You can separate them in the Spring if you like,but I leave them go, I have the space to do that, you may not - they are easily thinned. Buy these in the Spring . They are not a late Fall planting.
This is also the time to plant any seedlings of trees, fruit, pines, hardwoods, softwoods, the time frame is the same for the garlic- to about the 2 - 3 week in Nov. It does'nt matter if it snows , or is really cold..but you want to plant before the ground freezes solid. There is time yet , before that happens.
We have 10 white pines coming in 2 weeks , and I will have the garlic planted by the time you read this...THEN...my gardening is done for this year!!!