Garlic is a perennial vegetable plant which is a must-have in the vegetable patch. It craves sun.
A summary of Garlic facts
Height – 12 to 40 inches (30 to 100 cm)
Climate – temperate
Exposure – full sun
Its bulbs are a staple condiment in cooking, where their taste and spicing abilities are unmatched.
- Health: health benefits of garlic
First of all, purchase strands of garlic that are certified nematode (roundworm) and virus-free.
Traditionally, white and purple garlic is planted in fall and pink garlic is planted at the very beginning of spring.
Season for planting white and purple garlic
It is best to plant cloves (small secondary bulbs) in fall (October-November) if your soil is well drained, otherwise wait for the beginning of spring.
- For areas with rather mild climates, you can even start planting your cloves early January or February.
- If climates are a bit harsher, sow white garlic in fall.
- For climates that are a milder, plant purple garlic also in fall.
Season for planting pink garlic
Pink garlic is planted at the end of winter in climates that are mild, and at the beginning of spring in other areas.
Pink garlic is an early variety, ready for harvest in spring.
How to plant garlic
You can use store-bought cloves intended for cooking, if the label says they are virus-free.
Start with digging one or more furrows an inch (a couple centimeters) deep.
Place furrows at a distance of around 8 inches (20 cm).
- Place the cloves an inch (a couple centimeters) deep, with the pointed tip facing upwards.
- Set the cloves at least 12 inches (10 cm) apart to give them space to grow.
- Cover with light soil and then water regularly.
- Garlic requires a lot of sunlight.
Be careful! Garlic doesn’t like waterlogged soil. If this is the case, amend your soil with sand.
Caring for garlic
Garlic is quite easy to care for and requires very little care as it grows. The following best practices will help you have a better harvest, though.
When the young plants start growing out of the soil, clean around them on a regular basis to remove weeds, and help water penetrate the ground in that you break up the soil crust.
- Water in summer when hot or in case of dry spells.
- Garlic hates excess water, so never drown the bulbs.
- Hoe the rows and remove weeds as they appear.
First leaves appear around 1 month after sowing.
Before harvesting, remember to tie up stems that are beginning to turn yellow, to keep them from growing and to force the sap to gather in the head of garlic.
- Harvest in summer, generally June-July.
- Before stowing the garlic away, dry it off in the sun for a few days.
- After that, clean it and keep it in a dry, ventilated and rather cool spot.
When bulbs reach an honorable size and seem to be well-formed (June to July depending on the chosen variety), that is the time to harvest your garlic!
Note that it is also possible to harvest garlic in spring while still green, usually in May, and to eat the bulbs and leaves alike.
Pests and diseases that attack garlic
One of the common summer visitors will lay its eggs on garlic stems… and caterpillars will start chomping down on them as soon as they hatch! The culprit is a large white butterfly.
Vegetables that are good companions to grow near garlic
All there is to know about garlic
It has been used for millennia to spice up dishes in most parts of the world.
It has a capacity to add taste to many dishes. Moreover, it is an antiseptic, stimulating and even boasts aphrodisiac properties, nothing less!
Health benefits of garlic
Garlic has many health benefits and therapeutic properties and it has been used for a long time to cure many ailments.
Indeed, garlic is both tonic and antiseptic, it helps fight hypertension and rheumatism.
Smart tip about garlic
In spring, remove weeds around garlic because feeling crowded really slows its growth.
Garlic on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Garlic cloves (also on social media) by Crispin Semmens under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Young garlic by Anna Waldl under Pixabay license
Garlic harvest by mrninko under Pixabay license
Garlic flower by Henryk Niestrój under Pixabay license