11 April 2010

Growing Garlic

Garlic is one of the most used ingredients in cooking and it is also one of the most expensive to buy. It is so easy to grow, and does equally as well grown in pots or garden beds and now is the time to plant. Choose Australian garlic - in the supermarket you'll notice it is more expensive than imported Chinese garlic BUT it will grow. Imported garlic has been treated with chemicals to inhibit sprouting and to bleach the cloves. It may be cheap but it's not the best available.

Garlic likes a free draining soil, so prepare the soil with lots of compost, turning it over and digging down to at least 20cm. Then simply break the garlic into cloves and plant each clove pointy end up about 6 - 7cm down. Cover lightly with soil, measure a hand span and plant the next clove.

In a few weeks green shoots will appear and grow. Feed once a month or so with liquid seaweed and give a light to dressing of blood and bone. When the leaves start to turn brown the garlic is ready for harvesting. The heads will start to dry and form the papery skin we recognise. Always dig your garlic rather than pulling, pulling could damage the cloves, causing them to rot. Brush off any dirt and hang the garlic in a cool, dry spot to dry off completely. Your garlic should last at least six months if stored correctly.

I love growing garlic, in pots and the veggie beds, because it really is easy and low maintenance.

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