Garlic is a vegetable that belongs to the allium family. It is often used as a flavoring or seasoning in recipes, and it is known for its pungent aroma and its health-promoting properties. Below are 4 steps on how to grow garlic in your garden
Garlic is popular because it does not require a lot of space to grow, is surprisingly hardy, and does not need a lot of space in the garden. It is easy to plant and care for. Planting a clove produces a bulb, and each bulb is made up of up to 10 cloves.
Where to Plant and How to Grow Garlic?
Garlic will grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. It is not a good idea to plant garlic in soil that is very wet since the roots of the plant can become diseased if they are allowed to become very damp.
Garlic needs some space to grow. Separate the cloves, and plant each clove about six inches away from the last. If you are planting garlic in rows, put the rows about one foot away from each other. Put the cloves in the soil with the blunt end down and the pointed end up, around two inches in the ground, with soil firmly patted down over it.
What Sort of Soil Does Garlic Need?
Garlic should be grown in soil that is well-drained and fairly loose. Use 10-10-10 fertilizer and compost or manure worked through the soil for nutrients. Try to rotate what is grown in the soil. If you have used the soil to grow garlic or onions recently, then you probably don’t want to grow it again in the soil immediately.
Let something else grow for a while, just like how farmers let fields regenerate nutrients for a year or so before using them for the same crop again.
After planting the garlic, lay down a layer of protective mulch. Grass clippings or loose, chopped leaves will do the job. How much mulch you need will depend on how cold the weather is. If you are in an area where it gets very cold, make the mulch several inches thick.
The purpose of the mulch is to protect the roots of the garlic so that the plant will not get damaged by the alternating freezing and thawing-out of the soil. You still want to use mulch even in warmer climates, however, because it helps to control the growth of weeds.
How Much Water Does Garlic Require?
Garlic grows best in soil that is well-drained. It is a good idea to plant it on a raised bed so that if the soil gets waterlogged excess water can drain away. You should monitor the soil, and water the plants if the soil has become dry.
When Should Garlic Be Planted?
You can plant garlic in the middle of the autumn, as long as you can find a location that sees some sun, and that has nutrient-rich soil with good drainage. Make sure that you use plenty of mulch, and that you give the plants room to grow. Garlic that is planted in the middle of the autumn will usually start to grow either late autumn or early in the spring.
You can also plant cloves in the spring. Aim to plant as soon as the soil is thawed enough to be suitable for working. Garlic should be planted around the same time as onions. You will find that the plants will grow more quickly in the spring.
When you start to see the leaves growing, feed the plants with a teaspoon or two of nitrogen-containing fertilizer. Blood meal is a good choice. Work it into the soil around each plant, and replace any mulch that has decomposed, so that you can help to retain moisture in the soil and also stop weeds from taking hold.
Some types of garlic will produce a flower stalk with a small bulb. Cut the stalk off to encourage the plant to send its nutrients to the garlic bulb rather than the small clusters of bulbs around the flower.
If you planted the garlic in the spring then you should notice that in June the plants will stop making new leaves and start forming bulbs. Remove the mulch at this point and stop watering the plants. Let the soil dry out. This will help the garlic to last longer.
When the leaves turn brown (typically in July or August), it’s time to dig up the bulbs. Work carefully to make sure that you don’t damage the bulbs when you dig them up. Once you have unearthed the bulbs, lay them out and let them air dry for two or three weeks in a shaded, dry area with good air circulation.
Once the roots have dried out and become brittle, rub them carefully to remove them, and dust off ay dirt. Store the garlic in a cool, dry location. Remember that these bulbs are the ‘seeds’, so you might want to consider keeping a few of the biggest bulbs to replant later in the year. Bulbs harvested in the late summer are a good choice for planting in the mid-autumn, simply break the cloves apart to put them in the soil.
If you see that a bulb is showing signs of sprouting, use it before it spoils. Remember that cloves which get wet will spoil more quickly. It’s best to store them by either hanging them up, braiding the tops together, or keeping them on a slatted shelf.