Garlic is a nutritious and delicious ingredient that is used in almost every cuisine around the world. It has been used for centuries. Garlic belongs to the Allium family. The allium family includes several other members such as onions and chives. While garlic growing stages are relatively easy and simple. It is a cool-season crop that thrives in well-drained areas.
Garlic Growing Stages
There are several stages of growth that you need to be aware of in order to successfully cultivate this delicious crop. So let’s take a round through the garlic growing stages, from planting to harvesting.
Choosing the Right Garlic Varieties
There are many types of garlic:
- Elephant garlic
- Asiatic garlic
- Creole garlic
- Turban garlic
- Silverskin garlic
- california early garlic
- Spanish Roja garlic
- chesnok red garlic
Two main types:
- Softneck garlic
- Hardneck garlic
Softneck garlic is the most common type and is typically grown in warmer climates. According to some sources, mild-flavoured garlic varieties are generally easier to braid. Conversely, others suggest that Softneck garlic, which tends to be more flavorful, is better adapted to colder climates. It produces a hard stem, or scape, which is used usually in every country of the world as part of several dishes. Softneck garlic is often highly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. See also: Onion Growing Stages
Hardneck garlic has a mild spicy flavour that is used in the cuisine of most Asian countries. It has a hard stem compared to soft garlic.
When choosing garlic varieties, look for ones that are well-suited to your area climate and soil type.
Garlic needs plenty of sunlight and neat and clean environmental conditions to grow. To grow the garlic crop, there should be a place where the soil can get at least six hours of continuous sunlight in a day.
Preparing the Soil for Garlic
A well-drained soil with adequate organic matter is essential for healthy garlic production. This part plays a very important role in garlic growing stages. To prepare the soil before planting the garlic cloves, add compost or aged manure to the soil to provide natural humus. You can also add a balanced fertilizer to promote the plants.
Before planting garlic, clear the field thoroughly of stones and overgrown weeds. Because this Can affect crop growth. Garlic needs good air circulation around the roots, so avoid compacting the soil. Garlic prefers a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. See Also: Cucumber plant stages
Planting Garlic: When and How
When and How Should plant Garlic
Garlic can be sown in fall or spring۔ The recommendation is about four to six weeks before the ground freezes. Because during this time garlic is able to develop its strong roots. And garlic is able to protect its growth from cold weather damage. In general, fall planting is better for cold climates, while spring planting is better for warmer climates.
To plant garlic, Firstly break apart the bulbs into individual cloves.
Never peel off its papery skin, keep the pointed end of the garlic upper, and sink it 2 to 3 inches into prepared soil. Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart and rows 8-12 inches apart.
Cover the rows of planted garlic with a layer of straw or shredded tree leaves. After that, give it water properly. In early spring, fertilize the garlic with a balanced fertilizer. See Also: Lemon Tree Growth Stages
Caring for Garlic Plants
Garlic needs consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Remember that over watering can harm the health of the growing plant. Overwatering plants can lead to root rot and disease. It is recommended to water them once a week or as needed depending on the soil moisture level. After the roots of the garlic plants are formed, the amount of water can be reduced but keeping in mind the need.
Garlic doesn’t require heavy fertilisation. But the balanced regular fertilisation is beneficial for it. Apply a balanced fertiliser every 3-4 weeks, starting a few weeks after planting.
Scapes and Flowering
Hardneck garlic will produce a stem or scape in the spring. This may be an indication that the garlic crop is ripe. You can either remove the scapes to encourage larger bulbs or leave them on to enjoy their unique flavour in cooking.
Garlic plants can also produce flowers when they reach maturity stage, which is a natural process. Garlic flowers are typically white or pink and have a distinctive shape. If your garlic plants do flower, you can harvest the flowers and use them in cooking. These flowers have a fantastic taste and unique smell that can make your dish delicious. See Also: Pumpkin Growth Stages
Harvesting Garlic: When and How?
The best way to tell when garlic is ready to harvest is by the leaves. When the bottom three or four leaves have turned brown and dried out, it’s time to harvest the garlic. Usually it will happen in mid summer. You can also test the readiness of the garlic by digging up a bulb and checking its size and skin tightness.
Harvest the garlic with a small garden spade that does not contaminate the wound when pulling the garlic bulbs out of the soil. Be careful not to damage the bulbs or bruise them, as this can lead to spoilage. If bulbs damage you can not store them for later use.
Clean the garlic bulbs well and put them to dry in a dry, ventilated and warm place for 10 to 15 days.
Curing and Storing Garlic
After the garlic has dried for a week or two, it’s ready to be cured. During this process, finely trim the clean garlic stems and peel the garlic bulbs. Check the garlic properly and regularly for any bulb of rot, if someone is damaged then remove it.
Since this stage is regarded as the final phase in the Garlic Growing Stages. So, now you can store them at the appropriate temperature for later use.
Garlic can be stored in several ways, including braiding the stems and hanging them up, storing them in mesh bags, or simply keeping them in a cardboard box. Garlic cannot be stored for long at too hot or too cold temperatures. Because keeping it in a cool place will increase the humidity and its roots can start to form again. Likewise, if stored in a warm place, it may rot. See Also: Dieffenbachia Camille
Troubleshooting Common Garlic Growing Problems
Garlic is relatively easy to grow, but it can still be susceptible to a few common problems. Some of the most common issues include:
- White Rot
- Purple Blotch
- Fusarium Basal Rot
- Downy Mildew
- Botrytis Rot
- white rot
- downy mildew
There can be several reasons for these diseases. For example, Improper watering or drainage, which can lead to rot or disease.
If you want to protect the garlic crop from diseases that hinder its production speed. So you have to take proper care of it by giving it proper fertilizer, watering and choosing a good type of seeds.
On the other hand, you can save your crop by monitoring regularly and providing clean, fresh and airy environment conditions.
Using Garlic in the Kitchen
Garlic is a very versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavor and aroma of various dishes. Its distinct flavor and depth can add an extra dimension to soups, stews, pasta dishes, stir-fries, etc.
To use garlic, one can peel and chop the cloves or use a garlic press to crush them. You can also roast whole cloves in any meal to add a mild and sweet flavor. See Also: Saguaro Bloom
Health Benefits of Garlic
Apart from flavoring food, garlic has medicinal properties as Onions and other verities. Using it in food dishes can provide many health benefits such as some of the properties listed below.
- Boosts Immune System
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Reduces Cholestero
- Reduce Cancer Risk
- Improves Digestive Health
- Improve Bone Health
- Improve Brain Function
Generally, garlic takes a maximum of 8 to 9 months to fully mature. But it also depends on the type of garlic seeds, the care of the crop and the climatic conditions of the area.
Yes, you can save garlic bulbs for planting next year as long as they are stored properly. Because keeping it in a cool place will increase the humidity and its roots can start to form again. Likewise, if stored in a warm place, it may rot.
It’s possible to plant store-bought garlic, but it’s best to buy high-quality seed garlic from a reputable supplier and then store it.
When the leaves of the garlic plants turn brown or begin to wilt, consider that the crop is ripe and ready to harvest.
Yes, garlic can be grown in a container as long as it has enough space and drainage.