Garlic cloves can be planted to grow. This article will demonstrate how to grow garlic from a single garlic.
Every cuisine in the world uses garlic. Garlic can give many dishes flavor and interest, from a subtle flavor boost in a roast to the full force of a raw, crushed garlic sauce.
But if you limit yourself to the typical store-bought bulbs, you risk passing up an intriguing variety of flavors that are well worth discovering. You can sample the many varieties of garlic—each with its own unique traits and qualities—by growing your own. You will also be able to verify that your crop is organic and local.
Garlic can easily be grown in a backyard garden. To grow tasty bulbs, you only need a small amount of time and not much space, effort, or knowledge. It can take nine months or longer for garlic to produce a harvest and needs to spend a winter in the ground. Your perseverance will be amply rewarded when you harvest the bulbs, though. What you need to know to start is provided below.
Table of Contents
Wide Range of Garlic Cultivars
All varieties of garlic belong to the species Allium sativum, and part of the broader allium family including onions, shallots, leeks and chives. A wide variety of cultivars with different flavors, clove sizes, maturing times, and storage qualities are available within the species, though. Pick a variety that will grow well in your region. In order to provide a variety of tastes and a harvest that is spread out over several months, it is also worthwhile to grow several different kinds during a season. Read our article here for more details on how to pick your preferred garlic varieties.
Although it is frequently possible to start a new plant from a supermarket bulb, the vegetable will frequently have been chemically treated to prevent sprouting while it was on the shelf, making growth unpredictable. It is preferable to purchase a bulb of seed garlic intended for home cultivation; this way, you will also be aware of the variety you have. Garlic bulbs grown for seed are typically larger than those grown for food because bigger cloves produce better plants.
When to Plant Garlic
Depending on the variety, garlic should be planted between February and July. Garlic needs time to overwinter in order to produce the bulbs. The plant will produce green foliage above ground as the days get shorter, and some varieties will also produce a central flower stalk known as a scape. The majority of varieties are harvested in the spring or early summer, but as the season changes and the days grow longer once more, the plant’s energy will switch to bulb development.
How to Plant Garlic from a Clove
What You’ll Need
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 x 15cm wide pot
- Simply separating the cloves from one another is all that is required to grow garlic.
- Push the clove into the ground, keeping the pointy end up, until it is 1.5–2 cm deep or just below the surface.
- Put in a sunny location and cover with soil.
Note: The entire process will take anywhere between seven and nine months; do not water until shoots appear (after 1-2 weeks).
Also read: Can You Plant Garlic in the Spring?
Ongoing Care and Cultivation
Growing garlic is forgiving, and throughout its life, it only requires minimal care. One crucial idea is to use mulch to prevent weed growth, keep soil moist, and provide some protection from winter temperature extremes. Spread a layer of open mulch between 5 and 10 cm deep, such as sugar cane, pea straw, or lucerne. As long as the mulch is not too tightly packed, the shoots will push through, allowing you to do this right away after planting the bulbs.
Garlic doesn’t need a lot of feeding. Every month, beginning about six weeks after the first leaves appear, fertilize the plant lightly with a liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen or a top dressing of water-insoluble blood and bone. In order to promote bulb growth rather than new foliage, stop fertilizing the plants in the late winter.
Regularly and deeply watering the soil will encourage the growth of strong, deep roots. The risk of fungus diseases will increase if the foliage is heavily watered or splashed.
The plants will also develop flower stems or scapes as they mature if you are growing a hardneck variety like Creole, Rocambole, or Purple Stripe. The bulb size can be made larger by getting rid of these. To observe the scapes develop and to enjoy the tiny cloves or bulbils that will be produced around harvest time, you might want to leave a few plants alone. The edible scapes are a seasonal delicacy in European cooking.
How to Harvest Garlic
In late spring or early summer, garlic should be ready for harvest. The foliage will begin to wilt and turn brown when the bulbs are almost ready. Stop watering now and wait to harvest until there are only four or six leaves left that appear healthy and green.
Utilizing a fork, carefully remove the entire plant from the bed on a dry day while shaking off any extra soil. To slightly cure the plants before storage, place them whole on wire racks or hang them in bunches in a dry, cool, airy location for three to ten weeks. If desired, suitable softneck varieties can be braided together after this time has passed.
After the garlic has been cured, cut the roots from each bulb and trim the stem to 2.5 cm. Discard any bulbs that are broken, ill, or otherwise subpar. To ensure proper air circulation, place the bulbs in a dry, ventilated space with plenty of space between each one, such as on a wire rack or hanging in mesh bags.
In addition to being a very popular and tasty plant, garlic has many health advantages. Here are some according to WebMD:
- Garlic reduces your blood pressure
- Can prevent tick bites
- Reduces pre-meal blood sugar levels in people with or without diabetes
- Prevents atherosclerosis
- Prevents prostate cancer
Garlic consumption has many benefits.
Reasons to Grow Your Own Garlic
There are many benefits to growing your own herbs and food in general and garlic is no exception:
- always have garlic at home, even if you forgot to buy it
- try fresh green garlic to salads (it’s good!)
- reduce exposure to harmful chemicals that usually come with commercially available vegetables
- it’s super easy to do!
Where to Purchase
Even though buying a bunch of garlic from your neighborhood supermarket and growing it yourself sounds simple, the results won’t be the best. Go to your local organic market to find a bulb of garlic since the majority of it is heavily chemically sprayed in stores. The best option is to purchase your bulbs from your neighborhood garden center, where you can select the variety that is most suitable for your climate and increase your chances of success.
Common Problems When Growing Garlic
Garlic is a hardy crop that overcomes most challenges. There are a few typical issues, though, that you might experience.
- On foliage, black aphids have the ability to reproduce and impede growth by consuming sap. Use an eco-neem, horticultural soap, or other natural treatment spray to get rid of them.
- The tiny insect pests known as onion thrips are brought in by the wind. By feeding on the plant and laying egg layers that obstruct photosynthesis, they can harm the plant. Silvery marks left on the leaves by an infestation are easy to spot. Use a soap spray to treat.
- Early spring rains can cause a number of fungi diseases that are already present in the soil, such as downy mildew and fusarium root rot. If these issues arise, it’s better to dig up and destroy the crop than to wait for the fungus to spread further. Crop rotation is crucial for preventing the spread of these diseases.
- A bulb that only produces one, sizable, rounded clove may disappoint you when it comes time to harvest. This can be brought on by planting seed cloves that are too small, planting them too late, or growing the plants in conditions that are too hot or wet. These “rounds” can be planted again in the fall, when they should continue to grow into regular bulbs for the following harvest, or they can be eaten like regular cloves.
You’ll be rewarded with a crop of garlic you can enjoy right away or store for use almost all year long if you keep an eye out for these potential issues and take care of them as soon as you can.
Conclusion: You Can Grow Garlic from a Clove
Growing garlic is very easy and you can do it from a single garlic clove. That’s right, one garlic clove can grow into a whole head of garlic with a little tender loving care and time.