Garlic plants are one of the more heralded vegetables in the home garden. Garlic is simple and easy to grow. Anybody, make that everybody can learn how to grow garlic plants, too.
Plant cloves in the fall, and you will harvest garlic bulbs in late spring to early summer. Did you miss the fall planting? That’s okay. Plant some bulbs, as early in the spring as the garden can be worked. Homegrown, freshly harvested bulbs are much stronger than those found in stores. It can be cooked and eaten by itself as delicious food.
These plants grow in just about any slightly rich soil. Also, the plants thrive in a partly to mostly sunny location. And, the plants take up very little space, too. Is your garden space-constrained? No problem! These plants can even be grown amidst your flower or herb garden.
Garlic is most commonly used as a spice or herb. The robust flavor of garlic lends to its use in countless recipes around the world. Perhaps it is best known for its use in Italian, Chinese, and Oriental cooking. Its roots trace back to Central Asia. You’re going to just love its versatility. Garlic does not stake its claim to fame on cooking alone. First, it is widely used in organic gardening. The bulb’s strong odor is a natural repellent to many insect pests. Second, garlic has medicinal qualities. In addition, according to many people, garlic has the power to ward off demons and vampires.
Since ancient times, Garlic has been hailed for its medicinal value. It was used to treat a wide variety of ails. Current research shows that it aids in lowering cholesterol, reducing cardiovascular disease, and even cancer prevention. Furthermore, some studies suggest it helps to relieve cold and flu symptoms.
Did you know? We all have fears. There are so many phobias, that psychologists can hardly keep track of them all. Just so you are well informed, Alliumphobia is the fear of garlic.
There are several varieties of garlic:
Sicilian Softneck – this variety is ideal for braiding. It produces creamy white cloves, with a mild to moderate flavor.
California Softneck – Large, plump cloves are creamy-white and bursting with flavor.
German Red – This is a strong and spicy, full-bodied garlic. The cloves are large and satin white, with purple heads. As a matter of fact, many people consider this the true garlic flavor.
Elephant Garlic – Slightly milder in taste, with a much larger bulb. One clove can be 2 1/2″ – 3″ long. Elephant garlic is not only good for spicing up food but can be cooked by itself. Cooked or grilled, it takes on a very mild taste. Eat it by itself or spread it on a piece of Italian bread.
The plant’s “root” forms a bulb, comprising several segments, called cloves. Separate the cloves, and plant them in the fall for a spring crop. Space cloves 4″ to 6″ apart, in rows 8″ to 10″ apart.
They will begin to grow and take root until snow covers the ground. It is okay, if the plants grow a few inches above the ground, before the onset of winter weather. Then, in the spring they will start growing again and will be harvestable in late spring to early summer.
If you missed planting garlic in the Fall, plant them in the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. You will still get a good crop, just not as big, or as early, as those planted in the fall.
Add a general-purpose fertilizer, in the fall, and once a month during the growing season.
Keep the patch weeded.
Keep the soil moist. Garlic plants will not tell you when they are thirsty. So, make sure to water regularly, especially as dry weather arrives.
Ideal soil pH; 5.5 – 7.5. Ideal Soil pH for Vegetables.
Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature by vegetable
The plants are resistant to most pests. Its odor wards off many insects.
On occasion, root maggots can be a problem, attacking the bulbs.
Tip: Try planting garlic near your roses, to ward off aphids and Japanese Beetles.
Garlic is among the hardiest of plants. It is resistant to cold. It goes dormant over the winter like winter wheat or lawns but does not die. Then, once spring arrives, it begins to grow with the first warm days of late winter or early spring. Frost, freezes, and even snow does not harm the plants.