If you love the flavour of Garlic and using it in your cooking, why not try growing it? Here are some tips and tricks on how to grow Garlic successfully!
Soil: To get the best out of your garlic and to produce large cloves soil texture and health is an important contributor. You will need to have a loose, well-draining soil which has plenty of rich organic matter. By adding bagged compost or manures to the soil will help you to achieve this. If fresh manures or compost is used beware that planting directly after application can cause damage to young plants. Garlic prefers a soil pH that is slightly acid. But if you have a pH reading of 6.0 – 7.0 you will still have good success growing garlic.
Feeding: Garlic does not require too much feeding throughout the growing period. They are subject to nitrogen deficiencies, these symptoms are discovered mainly in the colouration of the foliage. Foliage will be mottled and the whole plant will appear yellow, plants may also appear to have poor vigour and bulbs can be undersized. Applying moderate amounts of nitrogen based fertilisers will keep plants growing healthy. But if too much nitrogen is applied plants will produce a lot of foliage and the development of the bulbs can be hindered. Keeping a balanced ratio of feeding is the trick to successful garlic growing. It may sound hard but I promise that it is easy. Apply a liquid fertiliser such as Maxicrop or Thrive once a month to keep plants happy. When using Blood and Bone or Organic Fertiliser by Grow Better apply every 4-6 weeks.
Watering: Garlic originates from Central Asia and northeastern Iran where is grows naturally in some harsh, dry climates. However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t like to be watered. In fact to achieve the best success in growing garlic is to keep the soil moist during the growing period. Garlic enjoys ample amounts of water for healthy growth and for good bulb formation. But you do not want your garlic swimming in water! If the bulbs are kept extremely wet it can lead to rot!
When to Plant: Planting garlic in autumn is most ideal. Plant garlic 3 – 5 weeks prior to winter will allow for the garlic cloves time to establish a small root system before the soil temperature cools. Plants genuinely do not grow or develop root systems in the winter due to the colder soil temperatures.
Planting Garlic: When planting into raised or established garden-beds make sure to allocate rows for the garlic to be planted. Tip: Make plant signs or labels to remember where and which variety is planted. Take the garlic bulb and pull apart until you are left with the individual cloves. Plant the clove roughly 4cm deep with the point towards the sky and the rounder end to the soil. Cover with soil and water in.
Lastly remember to just have fun with it! Growing fresh produce and picking it straight out of your own garden is one of the many joys to gardening.
Until next time happy gardening! By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2018