Garlic is widely used in various cuisines.
You can crunch it before sauteing it, you can slice it before adding it to your salad, you can use the powder to season your bread, and so on.
If you need garlic every day in your meal, and you live in a sunny place, you probably need to try growing garlic in your garden.
Prepare The Soil
Garlic needs loose, crumbly soil with good organic matter.
You can add well-rotted chicken manure to the soil. It’s good for garlic growth as it contains nitrogen.
Make sure the soil is moist. Not dry, not soggy.
Oh, and make sure the soil is well-drained.
The pH soil of 6.5-7.0 is good for garlic plants.
If your soil is too acidic, consider putting some calcium hydroxide (a.k.a. lime).
Prepare The Cloves
Grab the garlic bulb.
Separate it so it becomes individual garlic cloves.
Then it’s ready for planting.
To plant garlic cloves, just place the garlic cloves on a soil (make sure the point side is facing up).
Then, cover the cloves with soil or just push the cloves down so it’s covered.
The cloves should be around 2 inches under the soil.
After that, give them some water so the soil becomes moist (NOT SOGGY).
You can plant garlic in fall or when the winter is close if you live in a cooler climate.
If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant it in April or May.
Garlic needs little space for growing.
Each cloves should be spaced around 5 inches apart within a row.
It means, you don’t need a huge garden to grow your first garden plant.
You can plant it directly to the soil, grow it in a container, or build a simple garden bed in front of your home.
Place it in an area that receives full sun everyday.
6 hours of direct sunlight is great for its growth.
Use protective mulch to cover the soil.
You can use leaves, straws, or other organic mulches.
Always keep the soil moist but not soggy.
A garlic plant standing in a water tend to rot.
So, check the soil before watering.
If it’s still moist, give it more days before the next watering.
Stop watering the garlic plant when the leaves become yellow (approximately 3 weeks before harvest time).
Garlic plant usually needs 8-9 months to be mature.
How do you know that the garlic is ready for harvest?
- Check your calendar, is it already 8 months?
- Check the foliage, have they become yellow and brown?
- Sneak a peek inside the soil to see if the bulb is ready. If it’s not, put it back carefully.
When you’re certain that the garlic is ripe, gently dig the soil and pull the garlic plant carefully from the ground.
If your garlic is planted in a heavy soil, you can insert your garden fork to the soil and carefully lift the whole plant.
You can gently remove the dirt using your hand.
DO NOT WASH THE BULBS.
Washing the bulbs after harvesting can make them rot.
Now if you succeed to produce beautiful bulbs of garlic, you probably are tempted to use them immediately.
Yes, you can bring some fresh bulbs to the kitchen and use it for cooking.
But keep the rest of the crop dry so you can enjoy later. And keep the whole plants uncut (do not cut the bulbs just yet).
Hang the harvested plants in a well-ventilated place.
This process can take approximately 3 weeks or until the whole stems and foliage becomes brown and weak.
To remove the garlic bulb from the foliage, you can easily cut it using scissors.
Don’t forget to clean the bulbs using soft brush or with bare hands.
Garlic that has passed the curing process can last for months.
You can use it for everyday cooking.
And, don’t forget that you can also use the cloves to start your next garlic garden.