How to Grow Garlic
Last Updated Nov 7, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
Are you tired of buying your garlic from the supermarket? The good news is that growing garlic is easier than you thought and you’ll reap the rewards of fresh garlic all year round. Plus, your home grown garlic is likely to have much more taste than anything you can buy! Here is everything you need to know about growing garlic. For more information, have a chat with your local nursery.
Choose Where to Plant Garlic
Of course, the first thing that you need to do is to actually choose where you are going to plant your garlic. The best place is somewhere where there is lots of sun and where the soil is relatively well draining. Garlic is actually a great companion plant which means that you can plant it amongst other flowers and vegetables within the same bed if you wish. Alternatively, you can plant your garlic in pots – it’s just as easy as in the soil!
When to Plant Garlic
Garlic should be planted around the time of the autumn equinox, which is roughly mid March as this is when the days get shorter and the nights become cooler. If you live in a cold climate however, you may want to wait until Winter or even early Spring to plant your garlic.
Unlike many other plants, garlic is not grown from seed. Rather it is grown from individual cloves. Plant a single clove and it will grow to produce a bulb that has up to 20 cloves in it. Garlic, in this way, is very self sustaining. To plant garlic, you simply plant each individual clove about an inch underneath the top of the soil with the narrow end facing up. Cloves should be about 4 inches (10cm) apart from each other in the row and each row should be about 18 inches (45cm) apart. Water the garlic in well.
Before planting, make sure your soil is of good quality by adding manure or compost. Alternatively, use a good potting mix. Also add some slow release fertiliser to the soil.
Caring For Your Garlic
Once your garlic is planted, you’ll need to care for it. This is relatively easy as garlic is not fussy at all! All you really have to do is to keep it moist but not wet which means you should only need to water a couple of times a week if that. Use the finger test to measure the dampness of the soil. As your garlic grows, give it some liquid fertiliser once or twice a month to give it the energy it needs to grow. If you have any questions about caring for your new garlic crop or if your garden needs an experts touch, just contact a professional
Harvesting Your Garlic
It’s quite easy to tell when your garlic is ready for harvesting! Harvest your garlic when the leaves have browned and died away. Before this and your cloves will be too small; after and the bulb will split. Pull the bulb from the soil, and hang them up in a cool, dry place for about a week. Once the time has passed, you can brush the dirt off. Don’t wash your garlic. Your garlic is ready to eat any time after this!