Why: Coz it is sooooo delicious and has loads more flavour than store bought garlic! It is very easy to grow and oddly enough most pests and diseases don’t share my love of it.
Types/Varieties: There are all sorts of varieties of garlic. For a variety that suits your climate check out www.garlic.com.au OR www.diggers.com.au you can even order online at Diggers and they’ll post them to you. Love love!
You MUST use garlic bought from a nursery or organic store – regular supermarket garlic won’t grow in your garden!
When: Now is the time to plant garlic in southern areas of Australia, you can plant from late autumn through to early spring. If you live in warmer areas, eg. Northern NSW, then plant in March or April.
– Full sun
– Good drainage is REALLY important, grow in raised beds or pots without the self watering bit.
– Add some dolomite lime to the soil pre-planting, garlic likes a slightly alkaline soil, so pH around 7.5-8.0.
– Regular watering required, but not loads of water. Keep the bed or potting mix moist but not dripping.
– Don’t mulch until after the green garlic shoots are well up out of the ground.
– Don’t over feed – you’ll cause too much green growth at the expense of the bulbs. 2 or 3 light applications throughout the growing season of a pelletised, composted chicken manure are more than enough.
– Make sure good drain is maintained. Check the soil isn’t slushy and water logged. If in pots make sure the water can drain freely and easily out the bottom.
How to Plant:
1. Break the cloves of garlic from the garlic bulb.
2. Add dolomite lime, as garlic likes a slightly alkaline soil.
3. Add a little composted chicken manure.
4. With a fork turn over the soil, so that it is soft and friable.
5. Plant each clove 10cm apart from each other, in rows that are 40 cm apart.
6, 7 & 8. Poke a hole with your index finger and push the clove in, so its about 8-10cm below the surface, pointy end up.
9. Smooth over the area to fully cover the planted cloves.
10. Water in immediately after planting to help initiate growth.
Within 2 weeks you should start to see the first few shoots bursting out of the ground! Keep up the water to your garlic as it grows, but make sure the soil is not water logged. Keep the weeds down and mulch with pea straw or sugar cane mulch once spring arrives.
Including how to create garlic braids.
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photography by HYNESITE PHOTOGRAPHY