Did you know that in other parts of the globe, garlic is considered to have special magical powers? In the Philippines for example, some of the natives and old folks in other parts of the country believes that garlic can drive away evil spirits as well as other evil otherworldly entities. So,growing garlic for them is not only for food but also for their protection. But in the culinary world, garlic is a very important ingredient in making different and signature dishes tastier. It also has great health benefits and it can last for a long time when it is stored and preserved properly.
Garlic is one of the easiest vegetables to grow that can produce great yield when it is harvested. It is also inexpensive and can be grown outdoors and even indoors. A single clove of garlic when planted and harvested can give you enough garlic for you to use in your kitchen and also some to share with your friends. So, if you want to grow your own garlic, just follow these 5 simple tips.
Here are 5 Tips for Growing Garlic from a Single Clove
1. Preparing the garlic for planting
In your garden, choose a spot where to plant your garlic. Always remember that garlic needs a lot of sunshine as it grows, so plant your garlic where it can receive 8-10 hours of sun every day. A sandy loam soil with good drainage is best suited in growing garlic. Always use organically grown garlic and look for garlic with large cloves. Garlic with large cloves is best used if you want to grow your own garlic. The best time to plant garlic is during mid-autumn or early spring.
2. Planting the garlic
From your chosen garlic head, choose the best clove to be planted by breaking the cloves individually. Be careful not to damage the base of the cloves because damaged cloves will not grow. The largest cloves are the best to use in growing garlic because larger cloves produce larger bulbs. In planting your garlic, push each clove to about 2 inches into the soil with its tips upward. Each clove should be spaced about 8-10 inches apart. After planting your cloves, cover it with mulch. Apply organic fertilizer right after you have planted your cloves and again in the spring or fall depending on what season you planted your gloves.
3. Caring for your garlic plants
For your garlic to grow properly, always make sure to keep your newly planted garlic cloves moist at all times. So, regular watering of your garlic plants is recommended. Just make sure not to over water your plants because garlic gloves can easily rot if it is subjected to too much water. Garlic is also susceptible to garden pests, so make sure to apply organic pesticides and insecticides to your plants as it grows.
4. Harvesting your garlic
When the leaves of your garlic turn yellow or brown and you can feel the individual cloves in the bulb, this is a sign that your garlic is now ready for harvest. Harvest your garlic once the scapes start to dry or your garlic head will divide into individual cloves. If you started harvesting your garlic in the summer, you can continue harvesting until autumn. Using a shovel, harvest your garlic by loosening the area around each bulb and pull the bulbs out. Garlic can bruise easily so extra care in digging them should be observed. After you have finished harvesting your garlic, wash them and let them dry under the sun for a few days.
5. Storing your garlic
Garlic can be stored in many ways. You can store your garlic by simply hanging your bulbs in your kitchen or by putting the bulbs in jar with oil and vinegar. Or you can just store your garlic bulbs inside your refrigerator.