Garlic is frequently used in recipes, almost in any stew; it is used for its delicious flavor. It is one of the most researched food plants in the world; its properties are endless. Several studies show that it inhibits the accumulation of cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, could have a protective effect against cancer, fight against infections, among other properties.
How to get started with growing garlic
Garlic needs soil with good drainage and full sun; it must be cultivated between the end of August and the end of September. The garlic seed is the same garlic clove; we must select good-sized garlic, which does not exceed 10 cloves per head. If our seed or clove is large, it will produce a clove of good size garlic at harvest.
Before sowing, we must prepare our soil to lose and apply a layer of compost. The distance between sowing is 10-15 cm between each one, and we can sow in furrows or close sowing. If it is done in rows, it is possible to combine our garlic with beets, lettuce, and tomato. Close planting is done using the 3-bolillo technique.
When sowing, we must observe our garlic clove very well to not do it the other way around. The tip or thin part is the upper part, while at the bottom, we can see a small flat surface. The peel of the garlic clove should not be removed. The sowing depth of our garlic is twice the size of the clove (approximately 5 cm); apply a little compost at the time of sowing and water. You can mulch to prevent moisture from leaving and weeds from growing.
The garlic sprouts will start to come out in approximately 4-8 weeks, depending on the climate and the variety.
The watering in garlic must be sufficient but not excessive; the soil must maintain its humidity, but if we excess in the water, we can cause diseases. Keep your plants weed-free. Fertilize with a little compost every month, break up the top layer of soil, avoid touching the plants, or go too deep.
Some garlic produces a flower stalk that can be used for cooking. Garlic needs cold winters to produce a better bulb.
Pests and diseases, tips for their management
Water is an important factor in garlic cultivation; excess water or humidity favors the development of the Phytophthora infestans fungus, causing damage to the leaves, stems, and bulb.
Harvest and Storage
Harvesting takes place 4-5 months after sowing when ¾ parts of the plant have a yellow color. Stop watering the garlic two weeks before harvest; this helps dry and clean. Sometimes the bulbs are very rooted and at the time of harvest, the leaves separate from the bulb, loosen the soil around it a little to avoid this.
After harvesting them, you must cure them for 4-5 days; this means you must leave your garlic in a dry place so that they lose moisture. Set aside 2-3 good-quality, seed-sized garlic for the next season.