Useful Tips for Growing and Storing Garlic
Because of the delicious taste and health benefits of garlic, it is increasingly popular among gardeners. However, growing this health food takes a lot of space in the gardening while requiring even more attention. Garlic is one plant that requires you to be incredibly patient because you will have to wait up to a year after planting to enjoy the benefits of your labor. To ensure you have fresh garlic, you have to grow it well, harvest and store it properly. For those who do not know how to go about this, discussed below are some useful tips for growing and storing garlic that will help you.
When you are growing garlic, ensure you choose a spot in your garden not recently used for growing garlic or any other plant in the same family. Too much water might not be good for your garlic, therefore, waterlogged areas or parts of your garden where a lot of water is likely to reach the garlic roots should be avoided. Before planting your garlic, ensure the soil is very fertile and you should take your time to adequately prepare it. While preparing the area, try and remove any stones on the upper layer of the soil.
After doing all the necessary ground preparation, it is time to plant your garlic. If you are trying it for the first time it might be challenging, however, planting garlic is usually pretty simple. All you need to do is separate the garlic cloves and push each into the ground with the pointed end facing up. Since the ground was well prepared, pushing them into the ground should not be such a difficult task. After pushing them, firm the soil around the cloves and then water the bed if it appears dry. After planting your cloves, you can mulch the bed with straws to control the growth of weeds.
When to harvest your garlic is usually a personal decision, however, garlic is generally ready to harvest when the leaves to start to brown. But browning of the outer leaves is not a sure sign your garlic is ready for harvesting. To be sure your garlic is ready for harvesting, dig up a few and slice them in half. If the cloves fill out the skins, they are ready if not, give them more time. You have to time your harvesting carefully because early or late harvesting has its own shortcomings. Not all garlic varieties mature at the same time but regardless of the one you have, timing is quite important when it comes to harvesting.
After having your garlic, you can lay them out to dry for about three weeks in a shady area with proper air circulation. Under no circumstance should you let your harvested garlic be rained on? One good way of storing your garlic is braiding and hanging them, but ensure you keep them from areas with bright light like the kitchen. If you have a mesh bag, that is a perfect way of storing your garlic. Ensure you set aside some garlic bulbs for replanting. Some garlic varieties can usually be stored for up to eight months, but you should periodically check on them to ensure none is sprouting. These are useful tips for growing and storing garlic.