Rooting Garlic

When we moved into our house last January, we were overwhelmed with the dozens of projects we had naively thought would be quick and easy to carry out. I was pregnant, we had a new puppy, it was the middle of winter, and we kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to be stuck in a house that wasn’t ideal for a while. We know we are very lucky to have a sound roof over our heads, but it does sap your energy to live in a space that doesn’t feel like your own (picture forty-year-old green shag wall-to-wall carpeting, peeling orange and ivory wallpaper, and cracking plaster everywhere you look — comforting, right?). So as soon as summer came around, after the first few weeks spent solely soaking up every second with our little G, we tackled the first floor like gangbusters. By the time the holidays came around, we were exhausted, and gave ourselves a good two month break from any house projects whatsoever. It was glorious to just soak up the brand new spaces we had created and actually live in our house!


But with the coming of spring, we are feeling the itch to get going again, and the outdoor spaces are screaming for some attention. I have a ridiculously long list of projects I want to tackle out there, but the one I’m most excited about is starting a little herb garden along the south side of the house. In our apartment, my husband and I used to grow basil, dill, garlic, and other herbs in pots on our little balcony, and it was so nice to be able to grab fresh ingredients whenever we wanted them during the summer and fall. We are going to start basil, dill, mint, parsley and thyme seeds in little rooting pods in the next few weeks, and we have already started rooting garlic in our sunroom windows.


This is the first time I’ve rooted garlic myself. In the past I have dug some plants out of my dad’s garden and stuck them in the ground, but my mom told me she originally started that patch of garlic by rooting a bunch of it herself in the kitchen window.


To root the garlic, break a bulb into pieces, and stick four toothpicks in each bunch, like so.




Place each bunch over a small container with the root side down, fill the container with water until it is just covering the bottom of the garlic, and wait!






In just a few days you should start seeing little white roots start to form on the bottom of the garlic.




When the threat of frost is over, stick them in the ground and you’ll have a patch of garlic to enjoy at the end of the summer! My mom suggested harvesting only half, and leaving the rest to multiply next year. Happy gardening!

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