A step by step guide for growing Garlic at home
Today, we discuss growing garlic (Lahsun) from seed in pots, indoors of a home garden. We can also explain the planting tips of garlic along with the care of garlic plants and harvesting process involved in it. Garlic which is scientifically called as Allium Sativa is a plant which has leaves which are long, flat and appear like grass. The flowers of garlic plant will be pink or white in color and there are found in groups at the end of the stalk. The stalk is the one which grows from the flower bulb. This is a part of the plant and it is used for consumption as well as medicinal purposes. The bulb is prepared from several small bulbs which are covered with a skin called cloves. Garlic is normally termed as Stinking rose, but this is the one which belongs to the family of Lily.
Growth of garlic is the best project for a gardener who is just starting. For getting a new garlic vine, the cloves of garlic bulb will be separated and the plantation of only one clove is done. You can also go with the plantation of several types of garlic like Lautrec Wight, White pearl and purple Moldovan wight. Growth of garlic is simple and also cost-effective. In this article, you will learn how to grow garlic along with sourcing, harvesting and also storing.
Preparation for the growth of Garlic:
- Research and know when to start the plantation of Garlic in your locality. Generally, the best time for plantation of garlic is in the middle of autumn or at the early stages of spring.
- Garlic will grow very well in many types of climatic conditions. It will not work well in the regions where the climatic conditions are very hot and humid or where there is plenty of rainfall.
- Select a place for plantation and start the preparation of soil for the plantation of garlic. Garlic will require an adequate amount of sunlight, but it has the capability to tolerate a partial amount of shade but make sure that it is not kept in partial shade for too long in the day time or at the time of the growing season. The soil has to be dug in a good manner. Sandy loam soil can be considered as the best for the growth of garlic.
- Prior to the addition of nutrients to the soil, keep in mind what is actually present there already. If you have not done the soil test, reach out to your locality’s extension office to get the soil tested or you can test it yourself by making use of a soil test kit.
- Make sure that the soil is well-drained. The soils which are clay-based are not considered to be good for the plantation of garlic.
- Make use of manure and compost for the addition of nutrients to the soil prior to the plantation of garlic.
- The growth of garlic is done by the plantation of cloves which are called as seeds. So to start the plantation, you will have to purchase the garlic which is fresh. Select the garlic from a store or from a market presence in your locality. It is very essential that the bulbs of garlic which you select are fresh and have very good quality. It is always better to go with the organic garlic if available so that you can make sure that you are avoiding garlic which has been grown using chemicals.
- Select the bulbs of fresh garlic with cloves which are large in size. Make sure that you are avoiding the garlic which has become soft.
- Each and every individual clove will sprout into a plant, so remember this when you are making a decision on how many heads to purchase.
- If you already have some amount of garlic at your home which has already been sprouted, that would be great for your usage.
- Nurseries will also provide bulbs of garlic for plantation. Visit a local nursery if you wish to get any particular variety or you can also take advice regarding the garlic’s condition in your locality.
- Seed stores which are present online will offer several types of garlic and will also help you with the instructions for plantation depending on the seed type you purchase.
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Planting procedure of Garlic:
- Here is the guide to growing garlic from seeds. The garlic cloves have to be broke from a garlic head which is fresh. Make sure that you are being very careful not to cause any damage to the cloves at the base where they get attached to the garlic plate. If you cause any damage to the base, there will not be any growth of garlic.
- The plantation of cloves which are larger has to be done. The cloves which are smaller will take so much space in the planting bed but they will lead to the production of very small bulbs.
- Each and every clove has to be pushed into the soil. The tips have to be pointed upwards and the cloves have to be planted at a depth of 2 inches.
- The cloves should be planted at a distance of at least 8 inches from each other for providing them with the best growing environment.
- The cloves which are planted have to be covered by making use of mulch. The toppings which are suitable to cover the cloves are dry leaves, compost, hay, manure which is rotted well, straw or grass clippings which are well rotted.
- The cloves have to be fertilized or should be dressed on top with compost. The garlic which is planted will require a complete fertilizer at the stage of the plantation.
- It should be fertilized for the second time at the time of spring if you are going with the plantation of garlic at the time of autumn or in the autumn if you are going with the plantation of garlic at the time of spring.
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Care and maintenance of Garlic plants:
- The garlic plants have to be watered whenever required. The garlic which has been planted newly has to be maintained in a moist condition to help the development of roots. Make sure that you are not overwatering the plants as the garlic will not grow well or it may even cause rotting.
- Watering has to be done in a deep manner once a week if there is no rain. Watering the garlic is not that required until and unless there is a drought. In this case, make sure that you are watering it carefully in little amounts as garlic plant will hate the soil which is wet.
- The watering has to be decreased eventually as you see the warming of season. The garlic will require climatic conditions which are hot and dry to let the bulbs get matured.
- Make sure that you are taking care of the pests. Mice, insects and other forms of creatures may arrive to consume garlic it may even create nests in between the garlic plants.
- Aphids are the pests which will enjoy the leaves of garlic along with its flower buds. They are simple to get rid of. You will have to rub your fingers on them and squash them. You can also go with the application of a pesticide.
- Most of the people will love to go with the plantation of garlic below the roses to avoid aphids. The roses are the plants which get benefitted from the aphids.
- Mice and other creatures will nest in the mulch. If mice are creating problem in your locality, you can take into consideration the usage of mulch which is made of plastic or any fabric which is used for landscaping.
When and how to harvest Garlic:
- As you see the garlic plants starting to grow, there would be the emergence of long green stalks. These are called scapes. You can consider pulling off a few scapes and consume them if you desire to. The best thing about scape is that it is a shoot which is tender and also young.
- This may cause damage to the bulbs of garlic, so make sure that you are not doing this to every garlic plant.
- Make use of the gloves when you are pulling the scapes. Else, your hands will start smelling like garlic for several days.
- The bulbs are garlic are considered to be ready for harvest when you can feel that there is the presence of single cloves in the bulb and the leaves start turning brown or yellow.
- Once you see that the scapes are becoming dry, it is essential to harvest the garlic or you will see the shattering of head dividing it into individual cloves.
- You will have to start the harvest in the last weeks of summer. You can continue harvesting until the time of autumn in most of the localities.
- Some climatic conditions which are warm will let the garlic prepared for harvest earlier.
- The area which is present around each individual bulb has to be loosened by making use of a garden fork or shovel. The bulbs have to be pulled out of the ground. If you are making use of a garden fork, make sure that you are being careful about not stabbing the bulbs underground.
- Make sure that you are being careful with the process of digging as garlic will be susceptible to bruise.
- The garlic plants have to be kept unwashed and complete and should be hung up for the process of curing for about 15 days. The best temperature for curing is 27°C. Once the garlic is cured, the flaky layers which are present in the outer parts of the garlic bulb can be brushed off by leaving below the skin which is clean. The tops and the roots have to be trimmed and have to be stored in a place which is cool and dry.
- If you wash the garlic, it will extend the process of curing and will cause rotting. Moreover, if there is no curing to garlic, it will rot in a quick manner.
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How to store the freshly harvested Garlic:
- Garlic has to be stored in a place which is cool and dry. The bulbs which are dried can be placed in a garlic keeper and the cloves can be pulled off as per requirement.
- You can also prepare a garlic plait or garlic braid. The leaves of garlic which are dried can be put back and can be braided or plaited into a strand. Through this, the garlic bulbs can be hung in your kitchen. This is just a decorative pattern for your garlic and this will be useful for the storage of garlic.
- Garlic can also be stored in vinegar or oil. The cloves of garlic can be put in them. Anyway, to avoid the growth of bacteria, you can place it in the refrigerator and eat it quickly.
- Very good care has to be taken when you are going with the preparation of flavored oils making use of garlic or when you are going with the storage of garlic in oil.
- Make sure that you are not storing garlic at room temperatures. When this happens, it will produce botulism toxin. The same danger takes place when garlic which is roasted is being stored in oil.
Growing Garlic in pots/containers:
The plantation of garlic can be done in the indoor locations by making use of containers where it can be grown for several seasons. The plantation of garlic in containers will limit the exposure of garlic to insects and disease. Garlic will require good care and the correct materials to grow in a healthy way as a plant which is flavourful. Growing garlic indoors using pots is simple and below are the steps:
- Select a pot which is having a minimum depth of 10 inches and has holes for drainage. If you are interested in the plantation of more than one garlic bulb in your container, it should be sufficiently big for the accommodation of the garlic cloves which will be planted at a distance of 4 inches and they should also be kept at a distance of 4 inches from the sides of the container.
- Select a garlic bulb which is suitable for growth. You can bring this from any of the nurseries present in your locality or you can also get it from any of the neighbors if they are growing it in their garden. The parts of the garlic bulb which are planted are termed as “Cloves”. The complete garlic is the bulb.
- You can also get the garlic bulbs from any gardening store as most of the bulbs which are available in the supermarket are treated in a chemical manner for the prevention of sprouts and will also not grow well.
- The potting soil has to be mixed with the gardening sand. The mixture should be in a ratio of 3:1 in terms of soil to sand.
- The container has to be filled with soil by leaving a space of an inch from the top.
- The garlic bulbs have to be taken and the cloves have to be separated. The cloves should be held with the flat end facing downwards and the end which is pointed has to face upwards.
- Each and every clove has to be pushed to a depth of at least 5 inches into the soil. There should be a gap of 1 inch of soil in between the cloves’ top and the soil’s top.
- The garlic cloves have to be planted at a distance of 4 inches from each other.
- The pot has to be placed in such a way that it should be able to receive at least 8 hours of sunlight per day. The best place for keeping the pot is on a windowsill present in your kitchen.
- The container can also be placed in a sink or any other place which will let the draining of water. The soil has to be watered by sprinkling it in a uniform manner with water. Let it get drained through the holes which are present at the bottom of the pot.
- Make sure that you are watering the garlic which is growing in a sufficient manner for keeping the soil in a moist condition, but keep in mind not to make it too wet. This will be completely based on the availability of sunlight and warmth of your house. The watering frequency depends on the warmth of the house.
- Monitor the garlic as it starts to get sprout green leaves which look like chives.
- The flowers have to be clipped off at the base as soon as they start to sprout. When you are doing this, all the energy will be spent on making the bulb larger.
- Your garlic can be harvested after 10 months when the leaves start dying and turning brown in color.
- The garlic which is harvested can be stored in a place which is cool and dry. They have to be dried for about seven days.
- You can also consider the plantation of cloves to get more garlic.
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Regrowing Garlic from cloves:
- Regrowth of the garlic is quick and simple. Growing garlic in water is also a trick which is useful to turn the useless cloves which are sprouted into a full bulb.
- Select a garlic clove which is sprouted and has roots. A normal clove is also fine.
- Take a container and fill it with a little amount of water.
- The garlic has to be propped up on the container’s side.
- If you see that the garlic is falling down towards sideways into the water, make sure that you are propping it again.
- If the garlic is not standing, leave it on the top of the water and it keeps floating.
- The garlic will start growing a green shoot sooner. You will have to wait for a day before the plantation of soil.
- The whole clove has to be buried in the soil and nothing has to be seen except the green shoot.
- The watering has to be done two times a week with 2 inches of water.
- Garlic will be prepared for harvest when it begins turning yellow or brown in color and die. The bulb has to be dug around if the bulb is ready and full. You can dig it up for consuming.
- If you find that the bulb is small, you can start covering it again and monitor it again after a few days.
Facts about Growing Garlic, plantation:
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- When garlic is grown under correct conditions, garlic will take 9 months to reach the stage of maturity. Garlic will grow at its best when it gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight on a daily basis. Garlic has to be planted at the time of autumn prior to one to two months of the first frost.
- Garlic bulbs will be prepared for harvest at the end of spring or at the time of summer from at least 8 months after the plantation. The symptoms which can be seen are the green leaves which begin to turn brown in color and if there are any stems, they will start to soften though they are green in color.
- Garlic will need a uniform amount of moisture for soil at the time of growing. No extra moisture has to be present at the time of last weeks. Mulch is one of the methods to maintain uniform moisture. If there is no sufficient amount of moisture, then the development of garlic will not take place into a full-sized bulb.
- The soil which can be preferred for the growth of garlic is sandy loam and this has to be well-drained. If you see that your soil has problems with draining, you can start planting them in raised rows or even in pots which are larger. It is always perfect to get the amendment of soil done by making use of compost and fertilizer before the plantation.
- Garlic has a repellant nature which makes it the best tool for keeping the pests away from plants. The tonic which is made of garlic will work well for pests like aphids. Most of the gardeners who do not prefer using chemical fertilizers will make use of garlic water for their plants.
- Amongst all the common herbs, garlic and onion are the ones which can be grown together along with dill, parsley, chamomile. Other companion plants which you can plan along with garlic are beets, lettuce, spinach, sweet peppers.
That’s all fellow gardeners about growing garlic herb at home. Happy gardening!.
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