Growing the Stinking Rose

Yesterday I did something I’d never done before.

I planted garlic.

In the past I always followed the motto “only grow it if it’s pricey to buy or highly perishable”.   This meant that I grew herbs and tomatoes but not much else.

A few things have changed my thinking; I am usually too busy/out of town on Saturday mornings to shop for local produce at the farmers market, we bought a house with plenty of garden space, and I now want to consume as much organic produce as possible.  More organics mean more $$$, it’s just a fact.

Gardening does cost money but it’s pretty minimal really, I have enough lettuce, kale, collards, and mustard greens in my garden to eat greens everyday for months and the seeds cost me less than $5.

I digress, the real reason I wanted to plant garlic is because it’s super simple, you just shove some cloves in the ground and nine months later you’ve got garlic!  The websites I read also mentioned something about watering, mulching, and fertilizing but I’m a pretty lazy gardener and usually my “throw it in the ground and forget about it” approach works so I’m going with that.

Another reason I wanted to grow garlic is because most of the garlic I find in the store is from far, far away-like China!  I am okay with buying bananas from Central America but garlic shipped all the way from China?  Is that really necessary?

So out to the garden I went.

I broke the bulbs into individual cloves…

found a garlic-clove-sized-stick to make holes about an inch deep…

…and shoved in a clove!

If all goes as planned, the cloves will shoot up sprouts in the spring and be ready to harvest around July.  Each clove grows a whole bulb and I planted about twenty.

I am already planning my garden for next year, I definitely want to grow some okra.  Look at how gorgeous this red okra plant is!

There are still two things that I am leaving to the real farmers are potatoes and onions…for now.


  1. Potatoes are just as easy as garlic! Find some potatoes with some serious eyes and plant them. Keep covering the green growth with dirt and they’ll keep growing. You can even grow them in your compost. They’re the one item we never planned to grow that has grown itself. But beware – wherever you plant them they’ll pretty much stay forever! 🙂

  2. I had a whole row of lovely okra plants, and actually harvested enough pods for a pot of gumbo. And then the deer came. They munched the leaves off the entire row. Next year I’m turning the electric fence on. I love me some okra, ended up buying some at a market in Virginia to pickle.

    Pulling mature onions from the garden is the best! They look just like grocery onions, it’s amazing. We ate all of them months ago, but still have some Egyptian onions, which should last until it gets really, really cold.

    • gracefulfitness

      We did plant a few onions this year but we eat A LOT of onions (at least one a day) so I could never keep us in supply.

    • gracefulfitness

      Like I said, “they” suggest some mulching too but I’m just going to let them do their thing this year and see how it goes!

  3. We have a good size organic garden in our backyard…and fresh potatoes are one of the best things in the world! I hope you have fun with your adventure!

  4. LibbyD

    Girl, onions are just as easy! Plant the seed, watch it grow. I live in the deep south, so we have to water ours pretty frequently, but as long as the soil does not dry out completely, you shoul be good… 🙂 Happy garlic harvesting 🙂

    • gracefulfitness

      🙂 It’s more a matter of the mass quantity of onions that we consume! Tate is trying to get rid of more of the lawn though…

  5. papa

    The point of mulch a crop that overwinters is to prevent frost heave, which may not be a problem in C’Ville but can be for gardeners in colder climes. Come spring, the mulch is again useful to repress weeds and conserve moisture. You may have inspired me to plant okra again.

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