30 Garlic Tips

Learn some helpful garlic tips including: planting, cultivating, harvesting, storing and using.
By Melaine Ryther
April/May 1998
Add to My MSN

There are many uses and benefits in a simple bulb of garlic.
ILLUSTRATION: KENNETH LIN


Content Tools

Related Content

Growing Gourmet Garlic, Part 5: Spacing, Planting and Mulching

The fifth and final post in the series on Growing Gourmet Garlic, which discusses how to space, plan...

How Long Can You Make Your Green Tomatoes Last?

Readers share tips and tricks for storing green tomatoes and keeping them longer.

How to Plant Garlic

The Garlic Gurus at Seeds from Italy give you the scoop on growing your own garlic. This post answer...

Overview of Garlic's Health Benefits

This short video by Dr. Mao will give you a quick overview of the wide-ranging health benefits of ga...

There's really no reason not to plant garlic in your garden. It's easy to grow, even easier to eat and easiest of all on your arteries, according to a rash of recent medical data. Plus, garlic is an effective guard plant that can keep pests and fungi away from your other flowers and vegetables.

Whether you're already sold on the stinking rose or are curious about trying something new, here's a collection of garlic tips from growers and connoisseurs to keep you reeking — that is —reaping, for seasons to come!

Planting Garlic

If in a mild region, plant cloves in late September to mid-October. If in a cold region, plant in early spring, or as soon as the ground is workable.

Divide the bulbs into cloves only when ready to plant; early separation lessens yield.

Use bulbs that are large and firm. Make sure there are no soft spots or mildew on the cloves.

Plant in a sunny location.

Plant in crumbly, light soil that drains well and that is high in organic matter.

Plant cloves two to four inches down, four to six inches apart, pointy sides up. Space rows twelve inches apart.

Cultivating Garlic

Mulch with several inches of leaves or straw to protect the cloves over the winter months.

Weed often to prevent cloves from losing light and nutrients.

Flower stalks containing tiny bulblets should be cut off as soon as they appear to encourage growth of the larger garlic bulb. Both flowers and bulblets are edible, and are delicious sauteed or steamed.

Fertilize fall-planted garlic in early spring, and spring-planted garlic in early summer. Avoid "burning" by placing the fertilizer four to six inches on either side of the bulb. Fine compost, manure tea and balanced liquid fertilizers all work well.

Keep the beds evenly moist. Stopwatering two weeks before harvesting or when tops begin to dry. This will generally happen some time in July or August.

Harvesting Garlic

The bulbs are ready to harvest when the majority of the leaves have turned yellow and dry but there are still three or four green leaves left on each plant.Waiting too much longer increases the occurrence of split skins.

Using a digging fork, carefully loosen the soil and lift the plants out. Do not pull the tops. The skin around the bulbs should be thick, dry, and paper-like.

Shake off loose dirt and allow bulbs to dry on a wooden or wire rack or on a cloth screen. Hanging them in bunches works well also. Keep them out of direct sunlight.

Allow the bulbs to dry for about two weeks. Then trim the tops and the roots to within an inch of the bulbs.

Storing Garlic

Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. Hanging baskets, mesh bags, cardboard boxes, or clay pots with holes are all good storage containers. The garlic will keep for six to eight months.

Keep stored garlic away from foods that might absorb its flavor, such as potatoes or fruit.

To store in refrigerator, peel the cloves and submerge them in olive oil. They should keep for up to three months.

If you plan on selling your garlic, leave the tops long and braid the bulbs. Braided garlic can sell for double the price per pound of loose garlic. Braiding will be easier if done before the tops are completely dry. For long-lasting braids, reinforce with floral wire.

Use and Benefits of Garlic

Peel garlic easily by pressing down on a clove with the broad side of a knife until the skin splits and can be pulled off.

Rub a bowl with a cut clove of garlic,before putting in salad greens to give salads a subtle garlic flavor.

Add garlic flavor—without garlic chunks—to sauces and sauteed dishes by putting cloves on toothpicks and cooking them with the other ingredients. Then simply pluck out the skewered garlic before serving.

Avoid sautéing garlic for so long that it turns brown. It will become bitter and in-digestible. Use low to medium heat, and stop cooking it when it turns to a pale golden color.

Get rid of garlic breath by chewing on fresh parsley.

Get garlic odor off hands by rubbing them with lemon juice or vinegar.

Before planting cabbage, cauliflower,or broccoli, place a clove of garlic in the hole to keep those vegetables from getting club root.

Grind up cloves in the blender and mix with water to make a spray. Use on shrubs to discourage pests.

Plant garlic cloves around the base of rose bushes to ward off aphids.


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.