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Thursday, 15 November 2012

How to Grow Garlic

Fresh Garlic Bulbs

Now is perfect time to get your garlic planted. Garlic actually needs a cold period to get it to do well so as we enter the middle of November get the bulbs planted.

Garlic is a member of the onion (allium) family. It is extremely simple grow, however don't just plant garlic cloves you get from the supermarket as more often than not they will be from a warmer climate than ours and not do too well.

Growing Garlic

Garlic needs an extended growing season and should really be started off about now in November. However, if you are not ready right now then there are several varieties that have been bred to grow from an early spring sowing. Garlic  prefers a bright and sunny spot in well prepared ground, if shouldnt really be grown in ground that has recently had a manure dressing applied. Prepare the ground a week or so before planting, by giving the area a general purpose fertiliser such as growmore or as slow release like fish blood and bone. Create holes about 20 cm apart and 8 cm down, break up the bulb into individual cloves and place one into each hole, remember to place the flat end down, and fill up the hole.

Ensure they dont dry out, so water if we get dry spells, and keep the weeds away. Sometimes garlic will try to flower so remove the flower spike so the energy from the plant is not diverted into the production of a flower.

Once the leaves turn yellow in mid-summer the garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest. Lift them carefully with a fork.

Dry off the harvested bulbs for about a week to ten days before storing. You can use the garlic straight away if you want to. The best place to store garlic is in a dry and warmish environment. Hanging in your kitchen is fine but remember never put garlic in the fridge as this will encourage it to sprout.

Watch out for birds as sometimes they can pull the garlic out of the ground when the first growth appears, if your local birds learn this trick cover over with a net. The leaves can develop rust if they are planted too closely or are in too much shade.


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