How to grow your own garlic
There's more to gardening than just planting a seed.
Up for some garden-based therapy? This might be just the thing you need…
Gardening is all about slowing down.
It’s the perfect antidote to our hyper-distracted lives, with multiple screens and constant status updates.
Planting a tiny seed and waiting for it to germinate reminds us that all good things take time.
And when it comes to vegies that need a lot of time, garlic is definitely not for the impatient. It takes about six months before you can harvest your crop!
That may seem like an eternity, but when you taste homegrown organic garlic for the first time, you’ll understand why garlic growers are such devotees.
Garlic is part of the allium family (onions, leeks) and autumn is the perfect season to plant your cloves, particularly if you live in cool, mountainous regions. Don’t try to grow garlic in the tropics.
You can purchase organic garlic bulbs from garden centres and online stores (diggers.com.au is one of my favourite suppliers). Don’t use supermarket-bought garlic as these have often been sprayed with pesticides.
Garlic is easy to grow. Just break the garlic heads apart into cloves, being careful not to damage the thin base plate. Bigger cloves usually produce the strongest plants.
Select a sunny spot in your garden bed (or in a pot at least 80 centimetres deep) and make sure the soil or potting mix is well prepared with fertiliser and compost (chicken pellets or cow manure).
Plant the cloves about two to three centimetres below the surface with the tip pointing up, about 15 to 20 centimetres apart. Cover with mulch (lucerne, straw or sugarcane) and water in well.
Garlic plants aren’t too demanding once they’re in the ground: just give them a regular watering and every few weeks add some liquid seaweed fertiliser to your watering can.
You know your garlic is ready when the outer long green shoots start to brown and the tips begin to dry out.
Carefully pull out the plants with bulbs attached and hang in a cool dark place for the garlic bulbs to fully form and dry out.
Article first published nourish magazine