Garlic is a culinary must have. It takes our meals up a notch and is also beneficial as an antioxidant. It provides some of our basic vitamins and minerals – manganese, selenium, vitamin B1 & C.
It is not just a super-food, but it is easy to grow!
Garlic can be planted in either Autumn or Winter. Traditionally though, it’s planted on the shortest day, which will be 22nd June 2019 this year and harvested on the longest day, 22nd December 2019.
1)Prepare well composted soil in a well draining, sunny area. Both garden beds or pots would work fine, just work with whatever you have available.
2)Divide garlic bulbs into segments (cloves).
3)Keep the outer peel on and plant with the pointy end up and thicker end at the base.
4)Plant to a depth twice the length of the garlic segment (usually 5cm). This is really important so that the roots can support the weight of the mature plant leaves and the plant doesn’t fall or break under the weight. Allow approximately 10cm spacing between cloves and 30cm between rows.
5)Within 2 weeks, they should pop through the surface of the soil…
Regularly water and feed your plants (I will be using our compost and worm castings, you may prefer to purchase a commercially made preparation, just work with what you have).
6)Harvest close to the 6 month mark from planting, when the tops yellow and start to die down, but aren’t completely dead.
7)Be sure to dig garlic out gently, don’t be tempted to pull the top plant.
One clove should harvest a bulb of approximately 10 new cloves.
8)Gently shake off excess dirt and allow to dry for a fortnight before storing (the outside should resemble dry paper). Alternatively braid the bulbs together using the now dry plant stems, for storage – I am excited for this stage!
Garlic should keep fine for up to 3 months.
9)Be sure to keep some of your garlic to repeat for next year.
It is best to purchase garlic from a garden centre. Supermarket available garlic is often sprayed to prevent sprouting and hence, will not produce a harvest for you. I’ll share photos of the progress of my plants and our harvest later in the year! Would love to see yours too.