Tips for Growing Garlic in Your Garden and Indoors

comments (0) March 10th, 2011

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Most cooks find garlic to be one of the essential seasonings. Garlic is an easy crop to grow and you will find many uses for this gardening crop.Garlic is a member of the Lily family and related to leeks, shallots and onions. Its flavor is familiar to most people throughout the world.

Garlic is native to India and is believed to be one of the first plants cultivated for the home garden. Garlic was first grown in the U.S. around 1500. There are now over 600 varieties of garlic used worldwide. Some varieties grow better in certain areas than others. Consult your gardening store or local agricultural extension for information on choosing the right variety.

Garlic forms cloves which act as seeds and can be grown outdoors or indoors in pots. Choose an area of your garden that will receive lots of full sunlight. If you choose to grow garlic indoors, place pots on a sunny windowsill. Use pots that are at least 6" in diameter so that the cloves have plenty of room to develop. Also use a good potting soil mixture.

Garlic is also serves to deter insect pests from attacking other crops in the garden. For this reason, many gardeners plant garlic around the perimeter of their garden.

Garlic can be planted in the spring or the fall. Decide whether you want to grow garlic in fall or spring since different varieties are available for the different growing seasons.

Add a three inch layer of compost to the soil and till to a depth of about 12". Garlic prefers well drained soil and the compost will lighten the soil and, at the same time, provide nutrients for the growing plants.

You can use garlic purchased from the produce section of your grocery store or get them from your local gardening store. If using garlic from the produce section, break the cloves apart into individual sections.

Garlic can be planted in rows 18" apart or in beds. Dig a shallow trough in the soil, plant the cloves two inches deep and four inches apart--pointed end up--and cover with soil. Water the bulbs just after planting. Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not wet.

Add a two inch layer of straw mulch after the cloves have taken root and the plants are about six inches tall. The mulch will help conserve water and protect the roots during the hotter days of summer.

Harvest the garlic when the leaves turn yellow and brown as they dry. Use a shovel to loosen the soil around the plants. Pull the bulbs from the soil, shaking off any loose dirt. Store the bulbs by hanging then by the tops or placing them on a table in a cool, dry place.

There should be no shortage of recipes in which you can use garlic. This vegetable is one of the most versatile ingredients for use in the kitchen. Garlic can be added to soups, stews and of course spaghetti.

Garlic is often used as an antiseptic and to fight colds. It has also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol, promoting good heart health. Garlic is a good source of Vitamin B6 and C. It also contains good amounts of iron, phosphorus and calcium.

Delicious garlic is easy to grow and it is a gardening favorite. Plant a few cloves and enjoy the great flavor of this popular vegetable.






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