Have you ever thought of trying to grow your own garlic? First, pick a garden space in full sun with well-drained slightly acid soil. You may want to add a 5-10-10 fertilizer to the soil (the 5 means it is low in nitrogen which encourages foliage; the 10-10 means there is more and phosphorus and potassium which will encourage bulb growth). It is important that the soil is loose and well drained so that the bulbs can develop.
Separate cloves and plant each clove with the point up to a depth of one inch. Place them about
4 inches apart in the row. Keep the area weed free so the garlic does not have to compete for space and nutrients. A straw mulch is useful.
Keep soil moisture even. A rainless week may mean a good watering is in order. If your garlic shoots up a straight stalk with a flower bud on top, cut it off. This will encourage the bulb to grow.
There are several types of garlic. The most popular types are soft-neck and hard neck varieties. The soft-neck varieties are what you usually find in the supermarket. The hard-neck varieties are often colored with a purple stripe. They have a strong flavor. These often try to flower and need to be clipped.
In South Carolina it is recommended to plant garlic in the fall. However, you may find them available at the nursery in the late winter or early spring. So plant them! They may not develop as much as a fall planting but you get a taste of growing your own and may remember to plant next fall.