Garlic, scientifically known as Allium sativum, is a plant belonging to the onion family Alliaceae. Garlic is formed in bulbs that can be further divided into numerous fleshy skins called cloves. It is these cloves only that are made use of. The vegetable holds an important place in the world, for both medical and culinary purposes and proves to be extremely beneficial for health. Garlic has a wide range of flavors, with a characteristic spicy and strong flavor that gets richer and improves while cooking. It is available in variety of colors, like white, purple stripped, red and silver.
Garlic is one of the oldest plants cultivated by the human civilization that perishes its old self in the process of becoming its new self. It can be easily grown throughout the year, in rich soil with mild climates. It can also do well in cold climates, provided it is planted six weeks before the ground freezes and is harvested during the spring season. Growing garlic at home will never be regretted, as it is a wonderful herbal drug that can treat everything from common flu to plague. Read this article to find tips on how to plant garlic at your own home. Happy planting!
Planting Garlic Bulbs
- Purchase garlic bulbs from the nearby nursery. You will have to plant them bulbs directly in the ground, prior to winter or in late fall. Individuals living in mild climates can plant the seeds in January or February, so that it can be harvested in late summer or early fall.
- Dig the ground at a depth of 8-12 inches and remove all weeds, including grass-like wild plants that can hinder its growth.
- Fill the ground with plenty of manure, which will make sure that the plant receives good drainage, fertility and moisture retention.
- Now, choose the location for planting garlic, one that gets full sun. The garlic will grow best in slightly acidic soil with pH levels ranging from 6.2 to 6.8.
- Sow the seeds directly in the soil. If you are using garlic cloves, make sure to plant the largest clove and discard the ones that have a ting of blue or green or both, as it is a sure shot sign of mold.
- The unpeeled gloves should be set with the pointy end up, in a way that they are 2-inch deep and 5-inch apart. If the clove is big, increase the depth to 3 inches and the spacing to 10 inches.
- Cover the plant with manures, with a protective covering of leaves, straw or peat around it, to prevent evaporation and discourage weeds in harming the young plant. When the ground freezes, give a protective layer to the plant again.
- In the spring season, remove the protective layer off the plant, so that sun can warm the soil. You can also spray manure made from tea over the plant, to make sure that it develops well.
- Top-dress the plants with compost, and mulch to retain moisture and deter weeds. Mulch again, after the ground freezes, to protect the plant from the cold.
- Water the plant (1 inch) every week, until it turns yellow or falls over. This is a clear indication that the plant is growing.
- You can use garlic leaves any time during the growth of the plant, but make sure that you don’t cut them beyond ¼ of the top growth, as this might result in reduced size of the garlic bulb.
- Harvest the plant when about 3/4th of the top becomes yellow, by using a garden fork. Loosen the ground around the bulb carefully, making sure that you don’t pierce the garlic bulb.