Saturday, 19 January 2013

Growing garlic

Garlic is easy to grow but does require patience. Plant in autumn and harvest in summer.
A Plot about 1 m square can take about 50 corms but I prefer to plant mine in lots of small plantings throughout the garden.
Garlic is a great companion plant and is supposed to be particularly beneficial when planted with roses and raspberries.
Garlic needs a sunny, open, well drained position.
Good friable soil with plenty of well rotted organic matter. Too much fresh manure will encourage leaf growth and not bulb growth. If your position is not well drained the bulb will rot.
The roots and foliage develop in autumn and winter and the bulb in summer. In late summer the foliage will start to dry off, once the bulb has developed. My friend whose crop I harvested has wonderful soil built up over years and access to lots of clean water throughout summer. Sadly my soil is still being built up and come summer, water is a problem. I use river water and by mid summer the water quality is poor. ( salty)

Easy to see which is mine!
Water regularly and fertilize during the growth stages. Don't water once foliage has dried off.
Planting is easy if you have access to fresh, preferably organic garlic. Don't waste your time and effort trying to grow imported garlic it may have been treated with growth inhibitors. If the garlic is bright white and has a long shelf life it has quite possibly been treated.
To plant, just break the bulbs (corms) away from the parent plant. The parent is the stem in the middle.

Gently push the corm into the soil ( just below ground level) and with the tip pointed upwards. Allow about 10cm between corms.
Mulch and now, be patient, your own crop will be well worth the wait!
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