Grow it yourself: Garlic

Grow it yourself: Garlic

Garlic has a long history of cultivation, having been grown for a variety of uses for millennia. Archaeologists have discovered clay sculptures of garlic bulbs and paintings of garlic in Egyptian tombs in El Mahasna dating from about 3200 BC. Interested in growing your own garlic at home? It is relatively easy. Even if you are not blessed with green fingers...

How to grow garlic?

Grow it yourself: GarlicGarlic typically enjoys a Mediterranean climate, but can be grown in cooler climates as well. Choose a spot in the garden where the soil is not too damp and there is plenty of sunshine. Plant the cloves individually, pointing upwards and about an inch under the surface. Cloves should be planted about 4 inches apart, with rows about 18 inches apart.

When to grow garlic?

The best time to plant garlic in the USA or Europe is early spring or late autumn/early winter. Although knowing when to pick garlic is not an exact science, a good rule of thumb is to harvest your garlic when half the leaves around the base of the bulb are green and the other half are turning brown and dying back. After harvesting, take your garlic inside straight away, brush off any dirt, and store in a cool, dry place.

Grow it yourself: Garlic

Garlic varieties

Over 300 varieties of garlic are grown around the world. American garlic, with its white, papery skin and strong flavour is one of the most common varieties. Italian and Mexican garlic, both of which have pink or purple-tinged skins, are slightly milder-flavoured varieties. Another interesting fact is that garlic – member of the lily family and cousin of onions, leeks, chives and shallots – has an amazing array of nutritional and medicinal applications. So grab a bulb and enjoy nature’s oldest super-food: garlic.

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