How To Grow Garlic

It could be a life saver if you learn how to grow garlic yourself and keep a good supply of it not only for the kitchen but more importantly in my opinion, as a vital first aid kit.

If you are wondering about that statement, get yourself a copy of the book, “The Healing Power of Garlic” by Paul Bergner. Powerful reading!

Yes, I know there is plenty of garlic in the local supermarket but circumstances can change overnight. It is good to have lots of it around when you need it. That was the case during the war! Ever heard of Russian penicillin?(1.)

How to Grow Garlic From Cloves

One word before I proceed. This site is geared mostly toward those with little growing space but what`s written in this article will work for planting rows of garlic in a larger garden.

Sowing cloves in compost or soil is the second easiest way to go about it. I will talk about the first later as I am prone to doing things back to front.

Planting in the Autumn is the way to go if you want the plug to produce a bigger bulb but you can plant in Spring too.

Take a garlic bulb, preferably the pink coloured garlic which is hardier than the white and will last longer when dried. (2)

Divide up the cloves but be careful! Your not going to chop and toss it in the pot now are you. Keep from damaging the paper skin on the plugs.

Think of what space you have available and which container will fit in there. You also need to be aware that garlic likes a sunny spot if you can find such a location, but it will tolerate partial sun. So swap around the pots if you have to.

A general purpose compost will do. Garlic likes a light and freely draining soil to grow in. I added a little of John Innes 2 to my compost because I had grown tomatoes in it beforehand. Just making sure it wouldn't be completely nutrient deficient!.

Make holes in the compost 4 to 6 inches apart and double the depth of each clove then plant them with the flat end at the bottom and the pointed end facing upward. Cover them over and water thoroughly. That's it! How to grow garlic! Let them alone to grow but make sure you keep the container weed free.

How to Grow Garlic in Water

This is the easiest way and great fun for the kids. They get so excited when they see garlic grow roots after only a few days sitting in a little water and then to sprout leaves. A miracle! Yes a miracle indeed.

For the older gardener, growing them in a hydroponic unit with nutrients added to the water and placed under a grow light will give you a nice crop. They can be transferred to pots when the leaves grow too tall for the unit.

Considering you will be planting a clove and not a seed, you won't need any rock wool to germinate. Just place the clove directly into the basket of perlite, pumice, or the growing media recommended with your hydroponic unit and place it in the nutrient rich water. The water will be soaked up by the media and feed the clove.

The photo above is the garlic in mid-february. We have had some really hard frosts here in the UK but the garlic has remained healthy. A very hardy herb indeed.

Ah! June and the scapes have sprouted! What are garlic scapes and what should you do with them? I will explain in due course!

Caution:

Watch out that a well-meaning friend does not give you wild garlic to plant in your garden if you have one. It will get out of control really easily and is hard to get rid of. Take a look at this photo I took of a friend's front lawn. Nightmare! I break out in a sweat just looking at it.

References:

  1. The Healing Power of Garlic – Paul Bergner pg. 23
  2. The Salad Garden – Joy Larkcom. pg. 106
  1. HerbHints
  2. How to Grow
  3. Garlic From Cloves

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