How Grow and Care for Garlic Plant
Garlic always helps make any dish taste 10x better. It has a pungent smell that somehow adds to the aroma of the food cooked. It is a perennial plant that belongs to the family Amaryllis. This plant is loved for its strong flavors and hence are grown across various regions. Garlic is native to the central Asian regions. These garlic bulbs act as a vital ingredient in various dishes, although they are not eaten raw. Garlic plants can reach a height of about 60 cm, that is, up to 2 feet tall. Each bulb of the garlic has 20 other tiny bulblets that are enclosed under layers of skin. These bulblets are called cloves. The most common way of growing garlic is in the form of an annual crop.
Best Time to Grow Plant
When it comes to growing the garlic as a perennial, it means that the amount of care required becomes much less. When garlic is grown as a perennial, the requirement of having to buy seeds again is eliminated. The best time to plant garlic is in the fall, which is unlike other plants. Cloves of Garlic are then harvested around mid-summer. While planting garlic, one thing that should be taken care of is that garlic should not be planted in the same place as garlic was grown before. It should also be avoided to be grown in the areas where onions have recently grown.
Feeding Requirements and Preference of Soil
When it comes to the preference of the soil, Garlic likes to be planted in fertile, well-drained soil. Planting in raised beds is recommended. While planting, make sure to remove the stones from the top layer of the soil. Regarding feeding, Garlic is a heavy feeder since it is a long season crop. It requires almost 200 days to reach its maturity. It is recommended that the garlic is fed right from the start. Initially, the soil should be amended with compost, which will also help in proper drainage. For feeding, manure, or all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10) should be used. Blood meat can also be made use of.
Light and Watering Needs of Garlic
While growing garlic, it is very important to make sure that garlic receives plenty of direct sunlight. Garlic grows best when they are exposed to full sun in loose soil. They should at least be exposed to 6-8 hours of direct sun to thrive. Mulch proves to be a great help when it comes to getting rid of the weeds. When the garlic bed is planted, water it thoroughly. Then add mulch in a light layer to prevent weeds. Also, it is to be made sure that overwatering or underwatering of the plants does not take place. It is ideal to water garlic plants in the full depth of their roots. In heavy soils, the perfect way to water garlic is by using the drip irrigation method once a week in cool temperatures and up to four times a week in warmer temperatures. Normally, watering the garlic depends on how mature the plant is, what condition the soil is in, rainfall, and the weather.
Problems Attracted by Garlic
Garlic beds can be very problematic in context to diseases and pests. If the land is also exposed to pests and diseases, growing healthy garlic plants would not be possible until years of crop rotation. Garlic can be exposed to white rot disease, also called Sclerotium Cepivorum. This disease rots the roots. Garlic can also experience Nematodes, also called Ditylenchus Dipsaci, which targets the stem as well as the bulbs. Damages are not easily visible. It has a worm-like body and lives inside of the host. Garlic can also be exposed to insect pests called Thrips. Thrips should be taken care of quickly, or the plant may die.
Reasons Why One Should Consider Growing Garlic
The top reasons why one should grow garlic is because it has various varieties. Another valid reason is that garlic proves to be an essential ingredient while cooking delicious meals. Not only the main course, but garlic is also used in sauces, snacks, dips, and others. Garlic also proves to be very beneficial when it comes to health. Garlic can boost the immune system and lower blood pressure. Another fact about garlic is that it can be stored easily as it has a long shelf life.
Usually, garlic is a companion to various plants. However, some plants do not thrive well when garlic is around. These plants include peas, sage, beans, and parsley. If grown near garlic, they may result in stunted growth.
Garlic usually takes a long time to reach maturity, so expecting a wait for 200 days is recommended to harvest. It is when the leaves turn brown that the garlic becomes ready for harvest. If it is still not the size you expected, cover the garlic back with dirt and wait.
Garlic can be grown very easily under the sun within a period of eight to nine-month. The bulb and the leaves both prove to be very useful. Yes, the leaves are completely edible and are mostly used as salads.