A Comprehensive Guide from Planting to Harvesting
At GARDENWORKS, we believe in the magic of growing your Garlic. Not only is it an easy and rewarding experience, but it also packs a punch of health benefits and culinary delight. Join us on a journey from preparing the soil to harvesting and storing your very own homegrown Garlic.
Preparing the Soil
As the crisp October air settles in, it signals the perfect time to dive into Garlic planting. Select a sunny spot in your garden, ensuring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal soil is light, well-drained, and rich in humus. If acidity is an issue (pH below 5.5), a touch of lime can work wonders. Don't fret if space is limited; Garlic thrives in containers with proper drainage. Boost bulb growth by adding Bone Meal (2-14-0) during planting, providing a slow-release nutrient feast for your Garlic roots throughout Winter.
Planting and Growing
Separate the cloves, handle them gently, and plant each one 5cm (2”) deep, with a 10cm (4”) gap from its neighbors. Garlic dislikes competition, and crowding leads to smaller bulbs. Remember, the pointy end goes up, the flat end down. Mulch to curb weeds and prevent erosion during rainy spells. Come Spring, a modest nutrient boost (Bone Meal, Sea Soil, compost, or organic fertilizer) encourages robust growth. Avoid nitrogen-heavy fertilizers to steer growth towards bulbs rather than leaves. Water moderately in dry spells, preventing overwatering and poor drainage that can lead to bulb rot. Trim young scapes for consumption, avoiding compost – sauté them, stir fry, or create Garlic scape pesto.
Harvesting and Storing
Late July marks the maturation of Garlic. Minimize watering in the weeks leading to harvesting for effective curing. When half to three-quarters of the leaves yellow, it's harvest time. Hand-lifting is preferable to minimize bulb damage, but a fork or shovel works if needed. Handle bulbs with care during soil removal, leaving as much skin intact as possible for optimal long-term storage. Allow bulbs to cure in a warm, dry space for a week or two, ensuring adequate air space.
Never wash Garlic bulbs; brush off remaining dirt after drying. Trim dead leaves and store them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area with good airflow. Remember, Garlic should never see the inside of a fridge to preserve its flavor and longevity. When stored correctly, your Garlic harvest promises months of culinary delight.
With proper care and attention, your Garlic harvest promises months of culinary delight.