Garlic is part of the Allium genus. This means it a relative to leeks, shallots and onions. There are many species in the family. One of the unique things about garlic is that the taste changes dramatically just by the way it is prepared. It makes it a very versatile herb. Growing your own garlic is easy to do and offers many benefits.
One of the great things about growing your own garlic is that many things in garden are actually enhanced by garlic as a companion plant. Garlic has a very powerful anti-fungal and a raw antibiotic that is released when the glove is crushed or bitten into, even by the smallest of pests. This helps to protect many plants in the garden.
Roses really do well with garlic in the area. It sounds odd, but the results are amazing. Use them as a border around the flower garden.
Lettuce is a great meal for aphids. Aphids don’t like garlic. The best solution, plant some garlic among your lettuce crops.
Cabbage is hard to keep pest free. Cabbage worms can be most destructive. Once again, cabbage worms don’t like garlic. Many people think that the cabbage even has better flavor if the garlic is grown close.
Not all people or plants enjoy garlic. Garlic should not be planted near beans, peas, or potatoes. They do not do well to together.
Garlic is planted with the individual cloves. Each clove with produce a single plant with a bulb. A single bulb can have up twenty cloves. The cloves should be planted with the points facing up and about an inch from the top of the soil. Garlic likes a little sunshine and not too much water. They should be planted at least four inches apart.
You will know that your garlic is ready to harvest when the leaves turn brown and die off. The bulbs need to dry. Hang them in a cool, dark place to dry for a couple of weeks. The dirt that is clinging to them is fine. Don’t try washing them until they are properly dried for a few weeks. Not only are these going to be used in cooking, they are your seeds for next season.
If you are not a big garlic fan, here’s a challenge. Try it just one more time, roasted. It totally changes the flavor and you may find that this is a garlic that you can enjoy. Simply cut the bulb in half and drizzle olive oil over the bulb. Wrap them in foil. Place them in an oven and roast them for a couple of hours. It sweetens up the garlic and gives it a whole new flavor.