Most of us, these days, are never without garlic. We use it for sauces, stews, soups, roasts, pizza and oh so delicious, garlic bread…my husband won’t eat mine, he says there is too much garlic!...ah well, more for me. But you know those tiny little bulbs you buy in a three pack, flown miles and miles from China, you could do a lot better. Garlic is really easy to grow and it’s really good for you too!
Today was a glorious day and my little man and I donned out wellies and oiler suits and headed out to plant some. We also planted autumn onions sets, shhhh, a little on the late side, but it’s still nice and mild so I’m hoping to get away with it.
Garlic can be planted in autumn, September to November, and again in spring. Autumn planted garlic should give you a better yield providing is planted in a well-drained bed, preferably a raised bed. Garlic doesn’t like sitting in wet soil, which would cause it to rot.
There are a few more things you need to know also
- Do not plant the garlic you buy in the supermarket, you should buy it from a garden centre.
- Garlic prefers a light free draining soil.
- It is essential to rotate garlic, returning to its original bed after four years.
- Garlic is a member of the Alliaceae (Allium) family and can be grown in the same bed as onions.
How to grow it.
- Prepare your bed, making sure it is weed free.
- If soil is heavy, incorporated well-decomposed compost.
- Spilt the bulb into individual cloves for planting.
- Plant in rows 9 inches apart, with 6 inches between the cloves, along the row.
- Using a trowel, make a slit in the ground and plant the garlic clove 1 inch beneath the soil. (the clove should be about 2 inches into ground
There is a wonderful book I have been meaning to recommend, Klaus Laitenberger’s Vegetables for the Irish Garden. For anyone interested in starting their own vegetable patch or even for those of you that are experienced growers, this book is a must. Unlike most gardening books, which are full of artful and appetising pictures, Laitenberger’s book is simple, factual and an easy, entertaining read. He writes about each vegetable individually from artichoke to turnip, giving you the history, soil requirements, sowing, planting, harvesting and storing advice, along with potential problems, pest and varieties. He also writes eloquently about planning your vegetable garden and everything you need to know along the way to a great crop. A book for everyone interested in growing.
You still have a few more weeks this month for garlic, get the kids out and have a go!