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Garlic

Allium sativum

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Garlic is an easy to grow member of the onion family and produces a compact bulb of individual cloves. They need minimal maintenance - keep the area where they are growing weed free and well watered. Garlic grows in a wide variety of soil conditions as long as it is well-drained, fertile and has a near neutral pH. Plant out cloves in late summer to early autumn for the best results. Garlic grows in two ways, 'Hardneck' or 'Softneck'. Hardneck types produce an edible flower stem and cloves that do not store well but some produce pretty bulbs and cloves. Softneck types store for longer than Hardneck varieties and some produce 10-16 cloves per bulb.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Spring

Harvesting

Garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest within 6 to 7 months when tops begin to yellow and fall over but harvest them before they dry out. Cure plants by hanging the bulbs in a cool dry place.

Propagation

Seed
Sowing seeds in Summer and Autumn, 3-4 cm deep and 7-10 cm apart.
Cloves
Plant garlic cloves 5 cm deep in single or double rows or in wide beds with 20 cm between plants and rows.

Special features

Pot plant
Garlic can be grown in a pot as long as the container is deeper than 10 cm
Repels harmful insects
Works as an insect repellant
Crop rotation
Garlic is a light feeder, rotate crops annually to avoid a build up of disease in the soil.

Geography

Origin
Central and Southwestern Asia, Europe, North America
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Edible
Garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked and the flower neck of the Hardneck variety is edible and can be eaten in salads or stir-fries​.
Notes
Culinary, medicinal

Personality

Family
Amaryllidaceae
Flower colour
Mauve or white
Scent
Strong

Problems

Plant cloves deeply to prevent freezing which causes white rot fungus that affects the base of the leaves and roots. Rotate crops and clear the area after harvesting to prevent disease buildup. Pink root stunts the roots and turns them pink or red.

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