Garlic is one of the most important ingredients in every delicious recipe. Thus, there is no question why you should include it on your gardening list. The natural cycle of this gardening season is wonderfully represented through our garlic crops’ health throughout this year. We can start planting during the fall season and hibernate it during winter. Then, it will soon sprout in spring and, finally, harvest it during summer. Garlic planting is a task you should be doing during cold seasons or during late fall— but why? Well, before I will explain to you first the garlic plant’s anatomy, let’s have a look at the beginner’s guide on how to grow garlic.
Garlic Plant’s Anatomy
Garlic is a member of the allium family. Other plants included in this family include leeks, onions, chives, scallions, and shallots. Garlic’s scape is the center stalk that grows upward and usually creates a loop and it emerges during late spring. It is just like an extra or additional crop because it can also be used in various recipes.
It can even be used to create a delicious pesto. The scape’s end part is where the spathe is located, which is the external covering of the bulbils and flowers. The clove collection is also called a bulb. Lastly, the cloves (the individual ones) are usually planted during the fall season.
What Type of Garlic Should You Plant?
Most gardeners are interested in planting and growing garlic in their backyard because t stress-free and it can even in small spaces. It also does not attract a lot of pests or plant diseases and does well in cold temperatures.
This crop will survive even in harsh weather conditions (even in the coldest days of winter), making it ideal for gardeners who live in cold areas.
There are actually two primary kinds of garlic, namely softneck and hardneck.
This garlic type is a common variety— the one you usually find in groceries. Typically, the softneck garlic features a lot of smaller individual cloves. They sometimes create multiple bulb layers around their stem. Softneck garlic can also be stored for longer time periods compared to hardnecks. They grow healthily in almost all climates and will do well even if you live in a warm area.
This garlic kind generally has larger but fewer cloves compared to the softneck type. Hardnecks have a stalk or scape that springs from the plant’s center. A lot of gardeners pull off these scapes so that they can cook a tasty garlic pesto from them.
Aside from garlic pesto, there are still a lot more garlic recipes to explore. Because its outer bulb paper is very thin, hardneck garlic cannot be stored for too long (unlike softnecks). Moreover, hardneck garlic is best planted during cold seasons.
How to Grow Your Own Garlic?
- Prepare your garlic’s bed
- Add some organic fertilizer
- Pop out the garlic.
- Mark its varieties.
- Tuck them in for the winter season
When Should You Plant Your Garlic?
In the United States’ northern areas, garlic is typically grown between mid-October and November’s end. Gardeners wait until their first frost ends. At that time, they will be clearing out the beds of their garden where warm-weather plants such as eggplants and tomatoes are growing so that they can make more space for planting their garlic.
Clearing out your garden beds should be a part of their fall clean-up routine. And yes, it has to be first on your list too. Then, you may rejoice for all the hard work you’ve done by growing your season’s last crop.
In my garden, I have decided to plant two hundred twenty cloves of garlic per season. Why? — Because we eat plenty of it. My family loves garlic-flavored recipes, and I share these deliciously made meals with my neighbors and friends too. I admit that planting two hundred twenty cloves of garlic seems to be a lot of “too much” for a house garden, but I am telling you to do the same.
You can plant as many as you like, and it should be enough for your family to consume. Garlic cloves take time to grow before you can perfectly harvest them. Thus, you must grow them in equal intervals and on proper schedules (especially when most of your home-cooked meals start with sautéing).