Tips for your organic vegetable garden by Dermot O’Mara. Garlic is a wonder of the garden.
Garlic is a wonder of the garden. It contains allicin which is an antibiotic, antifungal and possibly antiviral. Garlic also contains an antioxidant that helps to lower blood cholesterol, and should be part of everyone’s daily diet. Most of the garlic offered in shops today could be imported from as far away as China. It is easy to grow and if you follow these short steps you can have your very own.
It is important to purchase garlic bulbs that are suitable for this climate. Bulbs from the produce section at your local shop are not usually successful. Varieties suited for autumn planting include Messidrome and Thermidrome. Divide the bulb and you will end up with ten to fourteen cloves ready for planting. Plant the cloves 2cm to 8cm deep making sure that the tips are pointing upwards. Plant at a spacing of 10cm in the row and 30cm between the rows. The cloves can also be planted through ground cover or black plastic, otherwise make sure that weeds are controlled. If we get a dry spell in the spring make sure to water.
At the beginning of June, prior to harvest, it is best to clear some soil from around the developed bulbs. This allows the bulb to swell more and lets the sun help to ripen them. When we get a dry spell towards the end of July lift the bulbs and lay on the ground allowing to dry. Turn every day for a few days. When the garlic is good and dry remove to a dry airy shed and dry flat on slatted shelves or tie in bunches and hang from a height in the garden shed or kitchen.Come springtime other varieties may be sown for harvest in the autumn allowing for year round supply.
ENJOY AND HAPPY GARDENING!
Sunny Meadow Organic Farm,
Powers Cross, Galway.