Freshly harvested garlic. Photo: Deborah Miuccio

Deborah Miuccio, who manages the test gardens here at Gardener’s Supply, just harvested a fine crop of garlic — her second year with this easy-care crop.

Other than keeping the bed weeded, she offers this advice:
“Remember to top-dress the beds with some slow-release fertilizer in spring,” says Deborah, “and keep the plants watered if you don’t get enough rain.”

The unusual thing about garlic is its planting schedule: You plant the bulbs in late fall and harvest them the following summer. To see how it’s done, see our slideshows, Planting and Harvesting Garlic.

“Garlic is so easy to grow — especially in a raised bed,” Deborah says. “Plus, the harvest lasts for months, so there’s no pressure to eat it before it goes to waste.”

“For cooking, I find that homegrown garlic is more flavorful and spicier than the what you get in the supermarket, so a little goes a long way.”

One more thing: “Garlic can ward off the evil spirirts — of illness at least — and maybe even vampires.”