Originally from Central Asia, garlic is becoming more and more a part of everyday menus. It is mainly used to flavour dishes and add flavour to meals. However, many gardeners fail to grow garlic properly. This is because you need to plant the right varieties at the right time and select a suitable place for them to grow. To help you out, here we give you all the details on when and how to plant garlic.
The right time to plant garlic
Generally speaking, garlic cultivation begins before winter. However, depending on the variety, the growing season may differ. So before you know when to plant garlic in your garden, you should start by considering the type of garlic you have purchased. Most of the time, you will find pink, white and purple garlic and they can be grown even in harsher climates.
- Purple garlic is usually planted in late fall (October or November). If you live in a humid area, wait until spring to prevent the garlic from rotting over the winter;
- White garlic can also be planted in late fall in colder areas or in spring in milder climates;
- Pink garlic is later than the others and is grown mainly in early spring (between February and March) in the South of France, and in April in other regions.
How to grow garlic: sowing or planting?
To grow garlic in your garden, you have two options: sowing (seeds) or planting (cloves). The second option is much quicker and easier to implement.
Sowing, pler and more tedious
For sowing, you should know that the appearance of young shoots will take much longer. For best results, you can sow the seedlings in a well-drained potting mix in the spring. When the first plants reach about 7 cm, you can plant them in pots and then put them in the ground.
For planting, you can collect the bulblets (cloves or cloves) that are on the main bulb of the garlic. The ones on the outside of the bulb are usually selected because they grow more easily. You then dig a small hole about 2 cm deep and place the clove in it. It should be placed head up and it is best to leave it slightly above the soil. If planting in rows, space each clove about 10 cm apart.
Once the garlic has been planted, you will notice the first plants after a few weeks. These can easily be confused with young leek plants because of the strong resemblance between the two species. This is not surprising since they are cousins and both belong to the Amaryllidaceae family.
Some growing tips
To plant garlic in your garden, prefer a siliceous clay or clay-limestone soil. Garlic also prefers to be placed in well-drained soil. It is afraid of too much moisture, and may rot if it is left in water for too long. When planting, you can spread a little well-decomposed compost on the soil. However, avoid planting it on recently smoked soil. The richness of the manure may indeed be fatal.
As far as the location is concerned, choose a place that is well exposed to the sun. However, you don't have to place it in a row, you can also place it in different places in your garden. Garlic can indeed be an excellent complement to certain crops. I place it in my strawberry plants, but also elsewhere to protect my crops from certain diseases and pests. Yes, garlic doesn't just scare away vampires!
When to harvest garlic?
Garlic is harvested in early summer or fall, depending on the variety. To know if it's ready to be picked, just take a look at the leaves. If they are yellow and dry, it is the right time. If they are still a little green, wait a little.
Once picked, I always let the bulbs rest on the ground for a few days in dry weather before picking them up. I then hang them in a well-ventilated place to let them dry. This allows me to keep them all winter, or even longer!