Keep the vampires away
There are 15 different varieties of Garlic that will grow in Australia, yet 90% of the garlic we eat is imported, with most of the world’s garlic coming from China. I will let you Google the quarantine process for yourself, it does make you think twice!
Garlic is really good for your health, my mum adds a couple of cloves to her Chooks water and I add it to my fish tank. It boosts the immune system and helps to fight of pests and parasites. Growing any food yourself is great for two reasons - you know where it has come from and that it isn’t treated with anything nasty, as well as saving you money.
Garlic is really easy to grow too, in just five steps you can be vampire proof.
1. Prepare! Pick the largest cloves to plant, the larger the clove the bigger the bulb. Each individual clove will produce one bulb. If you are really dedicated putting the clove in the fridge for a few weeks before planting helps to grow a bigger bulb.
2. Location! Garlic likes full sun, well drained, rich soil. Garlic is a hungry root crop so lots of fertiliser and compost is needed. Turn the soil over to create a fluffy bed for your bulbs.
3. Timing! Ideally plant during the autumn. Sow them at a depth of about 2inchs and 4inchs apart. Rows should be 12inchs apart.
4. Love! Show your garlic some love, when the new shoots are about 15cm tall it’s time to start feed the garlic every two weeks with some liquid nutrients. Don’t let your bulbs dry out water regularly if there is no rain, however they don’t like to be kept wet. Weed regularly to ensure the garlic gets all the nutrients it needs.
5. Harvest! Keep a record of when you plant so you know when to harvest, varieties vary in their maturity times. Pull one bulb if it is ready then harvest the rest. Hang in a dry place out of the sun to dry out for a couple of weeks and once the bulb is papery and crinkled you are good to go.
Store your garlic in a dry place, keeping it in the fridge will reduce the flavour and putting it in a container can make it go mouldy. You can even freeze raw or cooked garlic for up to 3 months.
It really is that easy to grow your own garlic.