My three-year-old and I planted a ton of green garlic, and you can too! Here’s how to grow green garlic and get your littles involved!
Green garlic is just young garlic, and it’s kind of a springtime delicacy. Farmers markets and CSAs sell green garlic in the spring, and it’s easy as pie to grow your own. It’s delicious on salads, in pickles, in stir fries, in soups, and on top of Buddha bowls. Mary at Eat Drink Better has some great green garlic cooking tips that are worth checking out, if you’re new to the wonders of green garlic.
Garlic is actually more of a fall planting, but you can grow it in the spring, especially if you’re planning to harvest it green. And it’s a really good crop for budding gardeners! This is how my son and I are growing green garlic. He’s so into it you, guys. He asks to plant garlic all the time, and we have it growing in beds and pots all over our garden right now.
How to Grow Green Garlic
You will need:
+ a head of garlic
+ somewhere to plant it – the ground, a raised bed, or pots full of good potting soil work great.
1. Go to the grocery store, and buy yourself a couple of heads of organic garlic. We have probably planted three heads at this point, and we’ve filled a raised bed, several pots, and added garlic to our vegetable and herb beds. I told you, he’s enthusiastic about it!
2. Prepare your planting area. You want good potting soil and plenty of sun. If you’re planting in the ground, amend with some nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer. I prepped the beds and pots before getting my kid involved, but kids can definitely help with this, if you like!
3. Show your kid how to remove the papery skin from the outside of the garlic clove. Leaving some skin on is fine – you just need to remove enough so he can pop off the cloves.
4. Show him how to pop a clove off of the head, and plant it, pointy-side-up, just under the surface of the soil. I only had to model this one time, then I kicked back with a cup of coffee and watched him plant two heads of garlic all by himself.
5. Check those beds with your kid regularly, and water every 2-3 days. You’ll see little sprouts within a few days, and they shoot up fast from there! Darrol loves checking on the garlic every single day to see what’s popping up.
6. When you see the sprouts, you may want to move things around a bit. Darrol really planted his cloves in clusters, so when he was out with his daddy one afternoon, I dug up the ones that were too close together and spaced themout a bit. Green garlic only need about 2″ of spacing, but that bit of room is important. I didn’t do this in front of him, because I didn’t want to encourage him to dig up the cloves. A three-year-old doesn’t get why you can do a thing but he can’t.
7. Somewhere in the two to four month area, you’ll be ready to harvest! Green garlic that’s ready basically looks like green onions that are ready. Harvesting on the early side is fine – you’ll just have smaller white parts.