Garlic

Garlic:

 

  • Why you should grow it
    • Easy crop to plant and forget – it does need about 9 months to grow!
    • Garlic can be expensive so it’s a worthwhile crop to grow
    • Start from cloves
    • Two kinds
      • Hardneck – colder tolerant, bigger cloves, but fewer of them, doesn’t store well (4-6 month shelf life)
      • Softneck – likes warmer conditions, smaller, more numerous cloves, stores well

 

  • How to start seeds
    • Started from cloves, seeds take a lot longer to produce the abundant clove
    • Choose organic and local suppliers, store-bought garlic may be sprayed to prevent sprouting and local garlic is grown in our conditions!
    • Plant September to November
    • Plant with the narrow tip facing up
    • Plant 1-2″ deep and 4-6″ apart (plant shallower in clay or hard soil and plant deeper if there is a risk it might become exposed during the winter)
    • Garlic is not suited to be grown in containers

 

  • Tips for growth
    • Companion plant to roses (they repel aphids)
    • Grows well with any of the cabbage family, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, celery, & beets
    • Doesn’t grow well with any peas or beans
    • Rust is a common disease due to poor watering, make sure you water the ground, not the plant
    • Garlic will eventually send up a long stalk called a scape. Cut it off to ensure energy is stored in the bulb. You can cook the scape, it has a slight garlic flavour

 

  • Harvesting
    • Around July or August, the garlic leaves should become dry. When most of the plant is dry it is time to harvest
    • Loosen the soil around the bulb, ensuring you don’t go too close to the bulb with a shovel or spade
    • Pull gently on the top with one hand and dig under with the other
    • Brush off the dirt and store in a cool dark place to cure
    • Curing or drying out should take about a week or longer until it’s fully dried

 

  • Saving Seeds
    • Leave a few cloves from the biggest and healthiest plants to re-plant in the fall
    • Don’t save the seeds of garlic, only save the cloves
    • The more you grow and save garlic, the more well adapted the garlic becomes to your local climate – you may get better and bigger harvests every year!
    • Choose a different location after about 3-4 harvests, disease and pests can live in the soil and the best way to prevent infestation is to circulate crops