I love garlic. It’s a simple and easy to produce giving you a great addition to your kitchen. Garlic can be planted out during February, march and November. Garlic loves the cold and autumn planted garlic tends to be larger when harvested in the following spring.
Plant cloves bought from a garden centre, not from the supermarket. They like to be in an area which gets full sun, is well drained and has plenty of organic material dug in with it to help drainage and to provide nutrients for it while it grows.
Push the cloves into the soil so the tip is 2cm below the surface and each plant is 10 cm apart and each row has 30 cm between them.
Garlic needs cold periods to grow properly so a winter and early spring planting generally provides the best yield.
Garlic plants can be overwhelmed by weeds so it is a good idea to keep an eye on them and regularly weed around them. They are also attractive to birds when they are young and susceptible to being pulled out of the ground. It may be worth netting the area to prevent this from happening.
The garlic plant can suffer from Rust, unfortunately, there is no cure. If this happens, avoid planting garlic in the same area for the next 3 seasons and it is good practice to include this in your crop rotation plan.
Harvesting autumn planted garlic takes place in June and July while spring planted garlic will be ready a short while after. The garlic will tell you it is ready for harvest when their leaves start to turn yellow and wither. Harvest the bulbs before the leaves have completely withered away as the bulbs will start to re-sprout and may rot while stored.
Once you have harvested the garlic, lay them out in the sun to dry out and brush off any remaining dirty. They can be stored for up to 3 months.
Garlic is used to add flavour to many dishes.