Growing your own garlic is much easier than you might realise. It’s quite low maintenance and you can also keep growing it continuously. As well as being handy for recipes, garlic has lots of health benefits. Here’s All You Need To Know About How To Grow Garlic:
Garlic contains sodium, potassium, selenium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins B, C, D, B and essential oils.
And when you crush garlic, you release allicin which, according to some researchers, has a strong bacteriostatic effect which helps cure infections faster.
Garlic can also fight fungal infections.
Tip: if you like eating garlic but hate the aftertaste, chewing parsley can work as a breath freshener.
Here are some tips for how to grow garlic:
Tips for Planting Garlic Cloves
Autumn is a good time to plant if you are planting garlic outdoors, but if you are growing it indoors, you can plant any time. It does take garlic about 6 months to mature.
You will need a deep pot, one or more garlic bulbs and some potting compost. You can also plant into a soil bed, just make sure the soil is loose and turned over before planting.
Tip: for best results use organic garlic as regular garlic is often treated with a hormone to stop the cloves sprouting on the shelves of the supermarkets.
- Take a bulb of garlic and split it into cloves, leaving the skins on. Choose the larger fully skinned cloves.
- Plant each clove point side up, root down at about 2 inches deep in a container or bed at least 6 inches deep, so there’s room for the roots.
- Water after planting.
- Place the pot in an area that gets plenty of direct sunlight. In about a week you should start seeing leaves coming up.
- Keep the soil moist.
- Cut the greens when they reach 4 inches, leaving an inch to regrow.
At some point you will notice, the greens have stopped growing, and when they dry up and turn brown, they are ready to harvest.
First dig one garlic head up to see if it’s ready and if it is, you can dig the rest up, otherwise wait a week or so and try again.
You won’t be able to pull the garlic out easily, so use a shovel or trowel. To avoid slicing the head and losing some cloves, make sure to place your shovel well out from where the head is.
Each of the cloves you planed should have formed a new full bulb.
If you want to continue growing, take a clove from that bulb and start again.
Curing is the process of letting your garlic dry down in preparation for storing it long-term. By curing your garlic you’ll be able to enjoy the garlic harvest for a good few months.
The good thing is that garlic does stay fresh long after it’s been taken out of the ground. You don’t need to pickle it, just dry it and store it.
- First set aside any garlic that you want to eat right away
- For the garlic that you want to cure, move them to a dry and shady place that is well aired. This could be on a covered porch, or in a well-ventilated garage or under a tree. Keep the bulbs separated to allow good air circulation.
- Don’t place it in direct sunlight as it will literally cook in the sun!
- You don’t need to clean off the dirt on the garlic while you are drying them, and don’t wash them, you want to make sure they dry out well.
- Then hang the bulbs indoors – avoid the kitchen unless you really love the smell of garlic! A garage or utility room is good.
- If you want to, you could plait a few strands of garlic together.
- It should take about 2 weeks to dry the skins while keeping the bulbs moist.
Once the garlic is dried out, cut off the stalks. Remove the outer layers but leave some layers on to keep them fresh.
Store them in either baskets, old terracotta pots, brown paper bags or if you can get them mesh bags, like the ones you would buy them in in the supermarket.
If you are keeping back some garlic cloves to replant, then you can store these in an open paper bag until you want to plant them.
So that’s it, garlic is not only easy to grow but very straightforward to cure and store.
Over to you now! Have you tried growing garlic? Tell us how you got on in the comments below.