The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Garlic Planting Day

Gardeners plant hope. Every year, we planting garlic for harvesting the next season.

On August 8, 2020, we harvested the garlic planted the previous fall. We separated the garlic into two piles: We laid out these beautiful heads into shares for gardeners to take home. And we reserved the very best garlic heads as seeds for the fall planting.

Here’s how we turned garlic heads into seeds of the future.

Gardeners took home bags of heads to open into seeds for today’s planting. Some garlic heads seemed impossible to pull apart. I learned the house key trick: Wedge the key between two cloves and gently wiggle them apart. The rest of the head opens easily.
When gardeners arrived for the word party, Ned, our garlic captain, had already turned over the earth in the rows where we’d plant. We learned the planting process and dug in.

There are seven rows in the garlic bed. Ned demonstrates cutting furrows. We cut four furrows down each row to receive garlic seeds.
Gardeners get clove-planting instructions.
Here’s how we plant garlic.
Gardeners paired up on rows. One gardener placed each clove root-side down a fist-width from the next atop a pinch of fertilizer. Another gardener applied compost.
Gardeners quickly found their rhythm and planted the entire crop in two hours.
Next season, we’ll be eating and seeding Porcelain Garlic, Moreno Hillside Garlic, Jell-Strain Garlic, and Elephant Garlic, which is actually more of a leek, delicious, and easy on the gut.

Garlic is the only garden seed grow for replanting. For other crops, saving seeds is not as simple. Gardeners are welcome to research and propose a seed-saving project for us to try.

We’re grateful, season after season, for the seed donations and discounts that allow us to continue growing fresh food for each other and organizations like Community Harvest of Central Vermont that provide fresh, local food to our neighbors.