garlic in garden
Make room for garlic in the garden
Whether you grow edibles or not, it’s easy to make room for garlic in the garden. Garlic takes up little space, can be slipped between other plants and is easy to grow. It is one of the most healthy and versatile edibles you can grow and has extensive use in the kitchen.
Yes, you can grow your own garlic. And it is pretty easy to grow. Although you can plant the cloves from store-bought garlic, you will fare better by ordering a properly cultivated strain that is adapted to your local climate. Here are some tips on growing garlic that should help you grow yours successfully.
Softneck varieties are the garlic varieties that have flexible neck stalks and are braided most easily. The bulbs are hardy and if planted at least 6 weeks before hard frosts, usually can survive cold winters, and usually don’t send up blooming stalks so there is no worry about cross-pollination should you decide to save the seeds. Softneck varieties will store for longer periods of time than hardneck garlic.
Hardneck varieties are harder to braid as the junction of bulb and dried leaves tends to snap off easily. This type of garlic produces smaller bulbs with larger cloves and many people think they have a better flavor. Hardneck garlic plants bloom with tall shoots and the typical allium-type spherical flower head. You can allow your plant to bloom or pinch out the flowering stalk as it begins to form instead. The goal in all garlic is to encourage heavy leaf production as that will create larger bulbs when the foliage dies back. Most hardneck varieties are a better choice for warm and hot climates.
Either type of garlic can be grown in cooler climates. In warmer winter climates, garlic can be planted year round. If you order your garlic from mail order catalogs, it is usually shipped in the autumn or early winter.
When shopping for garlic for your garden, look for big bulbs. The larger the clove you plant, the larger your future bulb is likely to grow. Give your garlic plenty of sunshine and though garlic is not fussy about soil, a richer soil with added compost will increase the size of the garlic you harvest at the end of the season. Regular watering is best.
Plant about 6″ deep and space them about 6″ or more apart. They can be grown closer together , but if you space them wider they will grow better and you will have more room to dig them up when ready without spearing the bulbs.
If you have limited space, garlic can be grown in an herb garden or even grown in pots. You can always make room to grow garlic.
Also see: Make your own garlic oil (and check the warnings in the comment section)
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