Garlic is a wonderfully fragrant herb to add to many cooked dishes. It has numerous health benefits, acts as an antibiotic, helps with chest infections, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and prevents strokes by thinning the blood.
Garlic has a specific planting window from mid-February to the end of March. For best results one should use organically grown garlic.
How to plant garlic:
- Prepare the planting area in a spot that will drain freely and receive at least 6 hours of sunshine
- Enrich the soil with well-rotted compost
- Break up a head of garlic into individual cloves
- Push the cloves into the soil with the tip of the clove pointing upward, to a depth of three times the length (about 5cm deep)
- Plant the cloves 15-20cm apart
- Firm down gently
- Cover with a layer of mulch
- Keep moist but don’t overwater
- Shoots should start pushing through the mulch within 4-8 weeks of planting
- Garlic can also be planted in pots filled with a quality potting soil.
- Foliar feed with a kelp-based plant food once a month from September to November
- Remove flower stalks as they affect the quality of the bulbs
- It is time to harvest when the leaves turn yellow-brown, usually within 6 months
- Gently dig out the bulbs, tie them in bunches and hang them in a cool, dry, well-aerated room for about 4-6 weeks to cure
If you’re living in the Southern hemisphere, February to April is the ideal time to plant garlic, so go out there and plant your own garlic!