Sunday, 13 October 2013

Growing your own Garlic.

Farm shops and markets are the best sources for good-quality, long-lasting, flavoursome bulbs, but you could also grow your own. The best time to plant depends on the variety, but as a general rule, garlic should go in before the ground freezes – usually early to mid-autumn – as the garlic needs a “cold shock” to get it going. “As long as your cloves are in the ground any time up to late spring, you should get some results,” says Natasha, “although your bulbs may be on the small side.”
- A free-draining but moisture-retentive soil (pH above 6.7) is ideal. Spreading compost before planting can prevent yellowing, poor vigour and small bulbs. To prepare for planting, dig and turn over the topsoil to a spade’s depth. Work it down so you have a fine top layer of at least 4cm (1.5in).
- Garlic will grow in the shade but loves the sun, so ideally choose the sunniest position. If planting in a vegetable garden, select an area that hasn’t contained members of the onion family for at least two years, to minimise the risk of disease.
- Naturally occurring sulphur in garlic can act as a fungicide and pesticide. Plant garlic close to vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage to deter aphids and common pests.
- When you’re ready to plant (and not before), break up the bulb into individual cloves, taking care not to damage them, and discard any unhealthy cloves.
- Draw out a furrow 3cm-4cm (1in-1.5in) deep. Make sure you plant the cloves root-end down, tip pointing up, and deep enough so they can be covered with 3cm-4cm of loose soil, measured from the clove tip. Place the cloves so that they are just resting in the soil at the bottom of the furrow. Large cloves should be spaced 15cm (6in) apart, small cloves 10cm (4in) apart.
-When the row is planted, draw the soil over the cloves to cover them completely. If the soil is dry, water sparingly.

No comments:

Post a Comment