Garlic is a spice that is believed to have been descended from Allium longicuspis species, which grows wild in southwestern Asia. It is heavily used in Asian cuisines and has been known to offer a wide range of health benefits. The medicinal properties of garlic are claimed to help prevent heart diseases (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol and high blood pressure) and even cancer. When added to cooking recipes, it can enhance their flavor to quite an extent. Many people claim that the taste of homegrown garlic exceeds that of a store-bought one, to great degrees. In the following lines, we have provided tips to help you in growing garlic.
Garlic Growing Tips
- Bypass Pruners
- Compost Makers
- Garden Spades
- Garden Trowels
- The first step that you need to take for growing garlic would be to purchase garlic bulbs from a nursery, in late fall or early winter.
- Now, choose a site for planting garlic. Make sure that it gets full sun and the soil has a pH between 5.0 and 8.0 (6.2 to 6.8 will be the best range).
- After you have selected the site, dig the soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Add enough compost to ensure the ideal combination of fertility, good drainage and moisture retention.
- While preparing the soil, remember to remove all traces of weeds, as they are likely to hamper the growth of garlic's grass-like foliage.
- You have to plant cloves directly in the ground, about six weeks before the soil freezes.
- Now is the time to start planting the garlic cloves. Make sure to plant only the largest cloves from the bulb, discarding the small ones as well as the ones that are pitted or tinged blue-green.
- Don’t peel the cloves before planting them. Plant unpeeled cloves, with pointy end up, 2-inch deep into the soil. Keep a distance of around 5 inches between two cloves.
- In case of giant "elephant" garlic, increase the depth to 3 inches and the spacing to 10 inches.
- After planting the garlic, it is the time to top-dress it, with compost and mulch. This will help retain moisture and deter weeds.
- You will need to mulch the soil once again, this time after the ground freezes, so as to protect plants from the cold.
- As soon as springtime comes, remove the previous layer of mulch. This will allow sun to warm the soil.
- When new growth begins to appear, add a fresh layer of mulch to the soil. At the same time, cut back any flower stalks that have developed.
- It is advisable to spray young garlic plants with compost tea once or twice during the spring season.
- When the foliage turns yellow or falls over, it means that the bulbs are nearing maturity. Provide an inch of water a week until the yellowing or falling starts.
- You can now clip garlic leaves anytime. However, remember not to remove more than 1/4 of a plant's top growth. Otherwise, you might end up reducing the bulb size.
- After about 3/4 of the tops have turned yellow, you can start harvesting the garlic bulbs.