Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is roughly 5000 years old. It has a rich historical background Babylonian, Sumerians, Chinese, Egyptians all used garlic in one form or another, usually to give energy cure an ailment of some type. Modern garlic evolved from wild garlic that grew all over the old world. There are two common varieties of garlic softneck and hardneck. Softneck is generally grown in climates with hot summers, mild winters, hardneck prefers colder months. Garlic is harvested in the late spring, midsummer it’s a long maturing crop that’s a perennial, grown as an annual. Garlic is cold tolerant to -30F in some cases. Planted fall or early spring, garlic, very easy to grow. Key is getting the temperatures right for the plant to develop properly, and fertilizing. 

Plant and go 
Botanical Name: Allium Satiuum
Depth: 1-2 in Spacing: 4-6 in Row: 36 in Temp: 55-75F
Germ: 4-6 wks. Sun: Full/ 6-8 hrs. pH: 6.0-7.0  Harvest: 7-8 months
Soil: well drained Container: 8x12 Fertilizer: 5-10-10 Fert Freq: Every 3-4 weeks
Water: .5-1 in per wk.   
Details
Garlic is rarely grown from seeds cloves are the traditional way to go. A seed could take 2-3 years to mature; a clove takes about 9 months. Note hardneck garlic needs to be planted about 4-6 weeks before the temperatures are below 45F. Softneck is a little more flexible, and better in warmer climates, and can be planted in early spring. Find the bulb variety you want to grow or pick a spot in the gardener balcony and sow seeds at 1-2 inches, space about 4-6 inches apart, with rows about 36 inches apart. Place the seed with root facing down. Mix in 5-10-10 fertilizer when sowing, garlic is a heavy feeder be sure to fertilize with you sow . Garlic likes full sun for 6-8 hours a day with well drained soil/container. Watering about 1-2 inches of water per week, and maybe less in the winter, garlic has deeps roots. Garlic is a very tough plant and repels pests so it doesn’t require much maintenance. 
Harvest
Harvest time has come how do you know when its time to harvest. A solid indicator that garlic is ready is to watch the leaves. When the lower leaves start to turn brown. Then dig up a few to see if the cloves have filled out the skins, then it’s time to dig them up. If you’ve grown in a container this part is considerable easier. Garlic has deep roots so, don’t try to pull them, its easier to dig them up and not damage the plant. A garden fork is the best tool for the job a shovel make it a little harder to dig with accuracy. Then cut the bulb from the roots. Then cure in a cool dark space like a basement for 3-4 weeks. 
Tip
-garlic has a better survival rate if mulch is used
Fun fact
The world record for heaviest garlic head is 2.6 Ibs set in California in 1985
Conclusion 
Garlic is a fantastic plant for beginners, and those with limited space. This plant has great history and is a nice addition to the garden. 
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