How to grow your own Garlic
We've put together this little How To guide to help you get the best out of your next garlic crop.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to planting garlic is to plant it on Anzac Day, and dig it up on Remembrance Day. After a few years of testing this, we like to get ours into the ground a little earlier here in the Highlands. This gives it a little head start to get settled before the harsh Winter sets in.
Garlic loves full sun and loose soil.
It's a good idea to prepare your planting area a few weeks beforehand by adding plenty of organic material to the area. We use Curly's Compost here in our gardens. It's locally made and packed full of goodness. Mixing a few bags through your planting area will suffice.
Purchase your garlic bulbs from a trusted source. We sell our own organically grown bulbs here at the Garden Centre, along with a few other varieties. It's best to buy seed garlic, as standard grocery store garlic may be treated so it can not sprout.
Divide your bulb into individual cloves to plant. If the ground is dry, water the area well the day before planting. Plant your cloves root side down, about 40cm apart and roughly an inch deep. Mulch lightly, and water in well. We're using Martin's Sugar Cane mulch here at the Garden Centre. It's breaks down well and adds nutrients to the soil. The mulch will help retain water and suppress weed growth, but if it's too deep at this stage it may delay the garlic going into it's dormancy period. Once the ground freezes, add another layer of mulch.
Now to wait. And wait.
Timing your harvest is important. Too early and the bulbs will be underdeveloped, too late and they may split their skins.
Wait until the leaves turn brown. It's a good idea to lift one or two bulbs too see how they're growing. Skins should be full and tight.
When your garlic is ready to harvest, stop watering them for a week or so before lifting them all.
Hang and enjoy!