October is the month to plant garlic and shallots. There is no easier crop to grow. You plant them in the fall, just as you do tulips and other bulbs, for a spring harvest. It requires very little description (just bury those cloves and bulbs, not even very deep, and you are good to go), but I’ll provide a bit of additional detail here.
I chose to plant these two varieties of garlic. When you mail order garlic for planting, it arrives in a garlic cluster, just like if you were to purchase it from the grocery store. You can even use the garlic from the grocery store to grow more garlic.
The elephant garlic is so huge that one clove is the size of my palm (above photo) and my camera lens cap! The entire cluster will grow to the size of a softball. I plan to slow roast my elephant garlic when I harvest it, and spread it on a French baguette with olive oil and salt. Mmmmm…
Loosen the soil. I use my hori hori knife (I use this knife for almost everything) for this task. Bulbs do not want to have to work very hard to expand and grow, so they prefer their soil to be loose. I also dig in a general all purpose slow release fertilizer at the time of planting.
I love shallots for cooking, so I planted shallots, as well. I was also interested in these multiplier onions, which will provide me with some onions in June before my spring planted onions are ready. The multiplier onions say that I can “expect a cluster of 10-12 or more mild and sweet-flavored bulbs to form from a single bulb.”
It’s even easier to plant these onions and shallots than garlic, as you don’t have to separate them into individual cloves. Place the bulbs six inches apart in soil that you have fertilized and loosened.