This blog post is on ‘garlic how to grow and harvest. Recently in end of June I had harvested some garlic from my vegetable plot. First time for me as last year I put the garlic bulbs down a bit latter of the year. I find garlic quite easy to grow unlike some plants like broad bean where it’s quite difficult to grow.
Garlic is good for you as well and has a few calories. It’s has got natural antibiotics that can combat colds. If it’s not grown for food they are great to grow as a natural garden insecticide.
Some people dislike eating them due to strong smell and taste. Eating too much raw garlic it can cause bad breath.
Garlic how to grow
If you like eating garlic it’s a great and easy crop to grow. Sow come late autumn and harvest in early to mid-summer.
To sow garlic from seeds always buy seeds from garden centres or buy bulbs that are dedicated for growing. As the supermarket bought ones most likely has been treated with chemicals to whiten them. Try to get hold big bulbs as possible. As the bigger the crop.
There are two varieties of garlic soft neck and hard neck. There is a lot of debate about this variety. Basically hard neck variety fewer bulbs and produces flower stalks, less bulb, stronger flavour and shelf life is less. This is opposite in comparison to soft neck variety.
Give them room to grow at least 15cm apart. Grow them in a good drain manure soil and sunny spot. Mulch with some hay as this will dampen down the weeds but the garlic shots will grow thru. Garlic needs some cold winter weather to produce bulbs. However not cold harsh winter. If there is a risk of hard frost plant them in a cold frame.
To prevent garlic rust and white a problem in growing garlic rotate the crops. Don’t plant any more garlic in the same spot in the next season or two.
It is possible to grow them containers as they don’t need much room. Plant them in containers at least 20 cm diameter.
They are great to grow in the garden as predators like slugs and black fly aren’t interested in them. They make a great companion to most plants.
It is ready to harvest when the foliage starts to die back. Slow down on watering as this will help to produce more bulbs. The hardneck varieties will produce some scrapes. Scrapes are edible, cut them away as it takes the plants energy away and produces less or bigger bulbs as a result.
As they grow underground it’s hard to judge when to harvest them. Most gardeners advocate harvesting when the foliage dies back. Harvest late it will produce a second round of garlic bulb that doesn’t store that well.
Once harvested they are ready to eat or cook. Store in a cool dry place away from the sun as this will affect the flavour. Once they start to dry the garlic bulbs can be knotted together.