How do I grow garlic?
Easy to grow with the right conditions, garlic is a delight for the kitchen as well as providing a source of fresh cloves that can also be used for medicinal purposes as a preventative treatment for colds and influenza. Each clove of garlic in a clump is actually a miniature bulb that can be planted straight into a suitable growing medium (potting mix or soil) in autumn. Around March is a good time to plant, in cooler climates it can be planted in autumn or spring. It prefers a light well drained soil. Add a small handful of lime to the soil to sweeten it. Once planted, it will start to grow and multiply into a new clump. Feeding the plant regularly with a complete liquid fertilizer will ensure that bulb harvest is maximized and apart from that there is not a great deal else required for success. Harvest the plants when the flowers finish in summer, and when the tops turn brown.
There are many different varieties of garlic. One way to source these is to buy organic garlic bulbs from your local greengrocer and use these as planting stock. There is a chance that these bulbs may be carrying pests and diseases so inspect carefully and only plant bulbs that look healthy and free of any damage whatsoever. Avoid using imported garlic for planting, even if you are tempted by fresh green sprouts. Imported plants can be harbouring serious disease.
Tasmania hosts a festival devoted to garlic every February- the famous and fabulous Koonya Garlic Festival. If you want to boost your garlic knowledge, be sure to visit!