Garlic cloves are traditionally planted on the shortest day of the year (which is getting close; the 20th June) to be harvested on the longest day 21st December.
Any time from mid-May to mid-July is good for planting your garlic cloves..
There are ample good reasons to grow garlic; from its health benefits to the aromatic flavoring and taste that the gloves give to your meals.
You could not have garlic bread without garlic!
Garlic used to be an easy crop to grow before the dreaded Garlic Rust struck everyone about 3-4 years ago.
The rust has made garlic growing for commercial and home gardeners much more difficult but there is a solution that I developed and used last year called Cell Strengthening which is
achieved by getting good amounts of silica into the plants while they are growing.
Planting your garlic cloves around this time and what you harvest 6 months later will depend greatly on what you do at planting time and during the growing season.
The best place to plant is in a sunny sheltered spot. Garlic loves frosts so no protection is needed.
Soil preparation: Garlic prefers a friable soil so that its roots can penetrate and the bulbs can swell easily.
I loosen up the top soil with a rake or hoe to make a fine tilth.
Then sprinkle BioPhos, gypsum, Wallys Unlocking the Soil, Blood & Bone, Sheep Manure pellets (Or chicken manure if you have it) and Wallys Ocean Solids over the area and rake it in.
I then place the cloves about 6cm apart into the soil with their points facing the sky.
Then I cover the cloves carefully with purchased compost such as Daltons or Oderings so that the cloves are covered and buried about 25mm under the compost.
I then sprinkle some Unlocking your soil over the compost.
When the first leaves from the cloves appear above the mulch then make up the Silicon and Boron Cell Strengthening Soil Drench mixed with water and give each plant a drench
over the foliage and into the root zone.
You will repeat this again about a month later.
What we are doing is getting a good amount of silicon into the soil which will be taken up by the roots of the garlic because of the boron additive.
With the foliage up you can now start a spray program by mixing the Silicon Cell Strengthening spray with the Silicon Super Spreader together into a trigger spray with water.
I like to add Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) to this spray for its many benefits.
The spray once made up keeps well and you only need to shake it each time prior to application over the garlic foliage.
Spray regularly while the garlic is growing once or twice a week.
Now is the time you will apply a mulch over garlic.
Garlic loves mulch and mowed leaves are ideal.
There are ample leaves around at this time of the year and these can be run over with a rotary mower and the resultant shredded leaves layered over the compost.
Alternative would be either pea straw, weed free grass clippings or more good compost.
Make a mulch layer about 5cm thick.
After this keep the area between the garlic bulbs free of weeds.
When the foliage pops through the mulch you then spray regularly with the Silicon Cell Strengthening spray with the Silicon Super Spreader.
Once a week or more often it you are passing.
The Silicon and Boron Soil Drench comes in a 500 mil bottle used at 10mils per litre to cover one sqM of area. (Shake well before using)
The Silicon Cell Strengthen spray is in a 250mil bottle mixed at 5mils into one litre of water with one fifth of a mil of the Silicon Super Spreader added per litre.
(1 mil into 5 litres of water with 25 mils of Cell Strengthening spray) A 1mil pipet is supplied for measuring.
Alternative you can obtain a 500 mil bottle of Cell Strengthening Spray with the spreader already added.
Used at 5 mils per litre of water. I make up the spray in a one litre trigger sprayer and leave it where the garlic is growing and give it a shake and spray.
Using the above products last season there was no sign of any rust during the whole growing time and harvested rust free. (Products are available on our Mail Order web site)
The silicon cell strengthening products are ideal for tomatoes, potatoes and other plants affected by the psyllid. The spray can also help control curly leaf disease on stone fruit.
Traditionally harvesting of garlic is on the longest day of the year ( 21st December).
It is better to wait harvesting till after the all leaves start to go yellow, which often happens around mid-January.
Harvesting earlier might mean the bulbs aren’t as big as they could be.
Harvesting later might mean the bulbs split, or in extreme cases start to deteriorate.
To harvest, use a garden fork or something similar to loosen the soil, and just pull up the plant up gently by its base.
After lifting leave the leaves on, because during the drying process the goodness from the leaves goes in to the bulb, increasing its size and making it even more yummy and nutritious.
Clean off the dirt from the bulb and dry it for a few days lying on a dry surface in a dry area such as a carport, then store it by hanging in a dry place out of the sunlight.
Tying clumps of five or ten together by the leaves and hanging under a carport or shed roof works well.
When dry, the plant tissue is very absorbent and will even absorb moisture from damp air and turn mouldy.
Once nice and dry I prefer to store the bulbs indoors in a cardboard box in a dry room or shed where condensation is not a problem.
If you would like to find out the history of garlic there is an excellent web site at:
Black aphids are about the only pest to have a go at your garlic as these aphids prefer onions, shallots, garlic and lettuces.
As soon as noticed spray with Wallys Super Neem Tree oil with Super Pyrethrum added.
There are some very interesting BITS if you would like to know about what commentators are asking/saying, then email me and ask for them.
Phone 0800 466464
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Photo: stevepb @ pixabay.com