If there’s something you’d like to know about growing garlic or regenerative farming, you’ll find it here. If not, contact us, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

When you plant hardneck garlic, it develops a thick curly stalk in the center of the leaves called a scape. Scapes are usually removed from culinary garlic to yield large bulbs, but they can be refrigerated or frozen for later cooking or pickling. When you don’t remove the scape, the plant produces an umbel (or flower) that holds anywhere from 25 to 200 tiny cloves called bulbils. These tender bulbils can be eaten, but they also hold the seed for future garlic.

At Keep Dreamin’ Acres, we sell first-generation seed and cloves from older generations to garlic gardeners. Because of our growing practices, our bulbils are purged of all soil-born diseases and can adapt to your growing conditions over time.

The ideal time to plant garlic is in the fall or about six weeks before snowfall. This is just enough time for the cloves to sprout and establish some root growth before their green shoot breaks through the springtime soil. Generally speaking, it’s better to plant a little too late rather than too early.
Garlic plants need room to spread their roots and leaves. If you plant them too close together, the bulbs will be smaller. The spacing we’ve found the most successful with is 7 inches between plants.
While garlic prefers loose and good-draining soil, it’s generally a forgiving plant in most soil types. As our goal is to produce the best garlic possible, we always prepare the ground with the right balance of nutrients and tilth (texture and sand/silt/clay ratio).

Garlic is similar to potatoes and onions regarding the soil pH and nutrient balance it prefers. We typically aim for the following:

  • pH between 6.0 and 7.5
  • nitrogen for initial growth, which we achieve by adding our compost
  • phosphorous is for optimal root development
  • potassium healthy bulb formation and leaf growth
  • sulphur to optimize garlic’s unique flavours and health benefits
Weeding is essential until you’ve achieved good top growth and harvested the scapes, but be careful not to disturb the garlic to avoid disease or rot. As long as you fertilized the soil when you planted in the fall, you should only need to boost nutrients a couple of times as it grows. We’ve found using a foliar spray works well for this. Although your soil needs moisture, garlic doesn’t like ‘wet feet’ so it’s better to err on the side of drier soil. A helpful test is to grab a fistful of soil. Your moisture is adequate if it balls up and keeps that shape when you squeeze it in your hand.
Garlic is ready to be harvested once at least four leaves are brown and fairly dried up. This means the plant has reached maturity. Harvesting in drier soil is best, so we recommend that you stop watering garlic once the scape stands up straight (if you have kept them on).
Loosen the soil with a fork, spade or other digging tool. Dig straight down, parallel to the plant but stay at least 4 inches away from the stem to avoid damaging the bulb. As you gently loosen the soil around the bulb, leverage the tool back and forth. Once it’s loose, grasp the base of the plant, pulling it straight up without bending. Gently brush away loose dirt and dead leaves to eliminate bugs and potential diseases. Leave the pseudostem on, and don’t wash the bulb while it cures. Get the garlic out of the sun as soon as possible.
Regenerative farming is a broad term covering various approaches to agriculture. What they share in common is the commitment to improving the health of your soil. It starts by closely examining what’s happening in your fields and pastures and considering what farming practices, like diverse rotations, cover crops, and even tree rows, could benefit the whole system.
At Keep Dreamin’ Acres, we’re committed to producing nutrient-dense food using ethical and regenerative farming practices that improve the land in the process. Regenerative farming offers our family a holistic approach to growing plants and raising animals, enriching our land and strengthening everything we do as a family that farms. It also helps us maintain and increase biodiversity across our farm to make where we live and how we eat good for every aspect of our health.
To us, ethically raised means our animals are treated compassionately and responsibly, and we do this as a family. Our children are guided to interact with and provide humane care for our small collection of turkeys, chickens, goats and pigs. As a family, we are committed to providing our animals with free access to open pasture, comfortable shelter and healthy home-grown food. We also put great care into making sure our animals are humanely harvested.

Our farm gate sales are usually from mid-June to October, Monday through Saturday from 9–5 or by appointment. The simplest way to stay informed is to follow us on Facebook.