Garlic is a bulb crop Cultivated throughout the world. It is used as spice and condiment. Among all the bulb crops garlic has the highest nutritive values. Garlic can be used by people in different forms like dried garlic flakes, garlic powder, garlic oil and chilled garlic.
It is a good source of proteins and also has minerals like potassium phosphorus etc. Garlic has many health benefits for example it helps garlic helps in digestion it also helps to lower down the cholesterol level in human blood. Along this garlic also has medicinal properties, its oil is used in different joint pains.
Different varieties of garlic to grow
Basically garlic is divided into two main categories that is soft neck garlic and hard neck garlic. However they further have some subdivisions.
Soft neck varieties of garlic
Soft neck variety of garlic is the most used variety. One can easily find this variety at grocery stores. When garlic is grown at a commercial level then usually a soft neck variety is selected.
This is because this variety is easy to grow and maintain. So this variety has a long shelf life. This variety of garlic has a nice mild flavour.
Warm season is best for growth of soft neck garlic. These garlic have so many cloves that can be used to regrow the garlic and for its multiplication.
The soft neck variety of garlic is further divided into two subtypes. These two subtypes are artichoke garlic and silverskin garlic.
- Artichoke garlic: this variety of soft neck garlic has a few cloves however they are bigger in size. This variety has a mellow flavor.
- Silver skin garlic: This variety of soft neck garlic is small in size. It is very flavorful. This variety dries very easily and quickly. If kept in the right conditions they can live longer.
For best results gardeners recommend grow companion plants along with garlic. You can grow tomato plants, potatoes, kale and spinach with garlic.
Hard neck variety of garlic
This variety of garlic has large cloves. This Friday is also more flavorful as compared to the other variety. This variety has a central stalk ok along with a green shoot known as scape. These scapes are the stocks where flowering occurs. It grows from a bubil having many tiny cloves.
Farmers usually cut off these scapes. Cutting them off helps to encourage the growth of bulbs. Cold weather is suitable for this variety and it grows well then this soft neck variety in this weather.
Mainly 5 subtypes of garlic come under hard neck variety. They are as follows:
- Rocambole garlic: this variety of hardness garlic has the best flavour. This is the best variety for the people who grow garlic at home. It is very rich and has a very nice taste.
However over watering can be a big trouble for this variety of garlic. This variety needs hotter weather as compared to the other varieties. It doesn’t grow well in wet and moist areas.
In this variety about eight 210 cloves are produced in an individual layer around the stock. It is easy to peel off. This variety can have different outer skin. The scan can be striped or can be red or pink. This variety can be stored for more than six months after drying.
- Porcelain garlic: this is the next variety of hardik garlic that has a flavour similar to rocambole garlic. This variety produces large cloves. It has a white smooth skin.
This variety is also very popular among the home gardeners. This variety is very adapted and can grow in different conditions. If stored in the right conditions then it can staywell for up to 8 months.
- Purple stripe garlic: this variety further has three subtypes. The subtypes are purple stripe garlic, marbled stripe garlic, glazed purple garlic. This variety has big cloves and it is used for making the best baked garlic.
- Marble stripe garlic: this variety is similar to purple striped garlic. However the number of cloves are less but larger. If grown in wet areas then the bulbs of this variety can hold water.
- Glazed purple garlic: this is the other variety of garlic that is classified under the purple stripe garlic. This variety is not very suitable for commercial purposes. It has a very thin outer scan and hence is very delicate.
- Asiatic garlic: this is one of the fastest growing varieties of garlic. It gets Mature very soon. The gardeners who want fresh garlic as soon as possible select this variety of garlic. This variety gives you the fruit multiple times in a single year. However the shelf life of this variety is not as long as the other varieties. It can be stored maximum for about 5 months. It has a very strong flavour.
- Turban garlic: similar to the previous variety also grows very fast. However it has larger cloves. Their storage life is also short. As this variety matures, needs to be harvested. If they are left and ground for long then it’s skin peels off and hence this storage life becomes shorter.
How can I grow garlic from cloves?
It is very easy to grow garlic. One also does not require a very large space for growing it. Garlic can be grown from the cloves that get separated off from the complete garlic bulb. The clove will multiply and make a new bulb which contains about 8 to 10 cloves. One can get these cloves easily from the store bought garlic bulbs.
How to grow garlic at home?
Garlic is an easy growing crop and hence can be grown at home easily.
First of all one should find the correct time to plant garlic. Basically garlic grows well in mid autumn or early spring. When Is It Too Late to Plant Garlic? As long as you provide essential elements like sunlight, water and other required temperatures, you can go on with planting.
However they can be grown in a wide range of climates. The areas having high temperatures and humidity are not very suitable for garlic. Next step is to select the suitable area and prepare it for planting garlic. Garlic crop requires sufficient sunlight hence one can select an area with partial shade getting enough sunlight.
Garlic grows well in sandy loam soil. The soil should be well dug. One should get a soil test done before plantation. And if required one should add The necessary nutrients to the soil. The soil must be well drained. Clay soil is not much preferable for garlic. Compost and manure can be added to the soil to make it rich.
Planting garlic: the garlic grown from the closed also known as seeds of garlic. So first of all one needs to buy some fresh garlic. One can get garlic from a store however if possible one should get it from a farm or local farmers market. one should select these carlex very wisely as they should be fresh and of good quality.
One can also choose organic garlic that is free from the chemical sprays. One should avoid selecting the garlic that are soft.
One has to plant each clove that will sprout into a garlic plant. As we have to plant the cloves so one should buy the garlic that has more number of heads. One can also grow a garlic at home and use it further for growing more.
The first step is to break down the head or the clove from the garlic. One should break carefully so that the base of the clove is not damaged. One must not use cloves with a damaged base.
One must use the larger cloves as the smaller ones will produce smaller bulbs. Insert each clove in the soil pointing the tip upwards. The clove should be about 5 cm deep.
A distance of about 20 should be maintained between each clove. The next step is mulching. The planted cloves should be covered by a layer of suitable toppings. These include dry leaves, composet, well rotted manure and well related grass clippings.
Garlic can be grown and pots or containers
Growing garlic in a container can be quite a difficult job. This is because it has a long growing season. Mainly 3 cloves can be planted in a 6 inches container. One should choose pots or containers that have a height of about six inches for proper growth of roots.
Application of fertilizers: during plantation a dose of fertilizers should be applied to the garlic. If you are planting the garlic in the fall then the next dose of fertilizers can be applied in the spring and vice versa.
Watering the plant: In the initial stages after plantation it is necessary to keep the soil moist for proper development of roots. However one must be careful and not over water the crop. If you over water them specially in cold weather then your crop may rot.
If there is no rain then the crop can be irrigated once in a week. It is not very essential to water your crop until there are hot and dry conditions. Watering the crop can be reduced with the fine as the temperature rises.
One must take proper care of the crop. The crop needs to be protected from pests, insects , mice or other creators that might damage the crop. If you have a problem of mice in your area then one can use plastic mulch or landscaping fabric to avoid this.
Harvesting of garlic
When long green stocks begin to grow in your garlic plant one can pull them off. These can be eaten after washing. However one should not full these stocks from every plant as his can damage the plant. one should always wear gloves while harvesting these as it has a very strong smell and your hands can smell like it for some days.
How do you know that crop is ready to harvest?
When you notice that the leaves of the bulb I have turned yellow or Brown and bulb have developed individual cloves, when it is ready to harvest. one should harvest them as soon as the scapes start drying. If you’re not harvesting it at this time then the cloves mein get separated and each individual clove will be formed.
End of summer marks the harvest season for garlic. In some places the harvesting is continued till autumn.
On the other hand, in areas having a warm climate, harvesting can be early. For harvesting one must loosen the soil around each bulb and pull out the bulb carefully from the ground. After harvesting one should trim the top and roots and store it in a cool and dry place. One should avoid watching the garlic as it may cause rotting.
Storage of garlic
The garlics should be stored in a cool and dry place at your home after drying it. Garlic close can also be stored in oil or vinegar. however if you store it in oil or vinegar then they should be refrigerated and used as soon as possible.
Garlic plantation is very easy and one can grow garlic easily at home. Garlic is a very beneficial crop as it has a number of health benefits. It is helpful to reduce blood pressure, helps to improve cholesterol and also lessens the risk of heart diseases. It has a number of medicinal benefits. Garlic oil is also used in pains of different joints. Hence along with adding the flavour to your dishes, it helps you to be healthy.