Garlic is a simple plant to grow, even for novice gardeners. It grows well in most climates. It can be planted indoors as well as outside. Obtain garlic cloves from garden centres or experiment with the largest bulbs available at your grocery store. Grocery store bulbs work best in pots as opposed to outside as they are less hearty. Use your freshly grown garlic in the kitchen, saving a few cloves for next year's crop.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Garlic bulbs
- Organic compost
Peel the outer paper-like skin from the garlic bulb but not from the individual cloves. Choose the largest cloves on the outside for planting and set aside the smaller inner cloves for cooking.
Loosen the soil 8 to 10 inches deep. Work in organic compost and a handful or two of sand to ensure the soil is well drained. Soak the area with water. If it drains within 3 hours, the soil drains properly.
Plant each bulb flat side down 1 inch under the soil and 4 inches apart. Plant in mid-October before the ground freezes.
Fertilise the garlic in mid-March and late May with a general-purpose fertiliser. Keep the beds weed-free and water when there is no rainfall.
Harvest in mid-August when the leaves turn brown. Dig up one bulb. The garlic is ready for harvest if it has only three layers of papery skin. Otherwise leave the rest of the cloves in the ground for an additional 2 weeks. Gently loosen the soil with a trowel without hitting the bulbs, then pull them free from the soil.
Tips and warnings
- Plant garlic in pots indoors up until April. Fill the pots with a potting compost mix and fertilise every 2 weeks.
- Garlic will rot in the ground if conditions are too wet. In areas with an exceptionally wet autumn, plant in pots.
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