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I have long been going to grow my garlic. And not only because I regularly use it in the kitchen. Fresh garlic can also be added to the ration of chickens, and whole denticles in the drinking bowl. Therefore, all the time, garlic is not enough.
Several years ago, I finally tried to do what I had been putting off all the time, and I was so carried away by it that now I no longer imagine my garden without garlic. It turns out that growing it is quite easy. You will only need to stick cloves of garlic into the soil in the fall (5-6 weeks before the first frost in your climate zone) and in the spring of them will grow whole heads.
One of the advantages of growing garlic is that it is not affected by insects and most animals, such as deer, hares and moles.
For harvesting in early summer, it is recommended that the autumn planting of cloves of garlic from the largest bulbs. In the southern areas, you can plant garlic in February / March to harvest in late autumn. (Autumn planting should be done early enough to allow cloves of garlic to form roots before winter).
In principle, you can plant ordinary garlic, bought in the store, but I would advise you to look for organic bulbs or garlic grown in local farms. So you will be sure that it does not contain harmful pesticides and chemicals. Divide the head into separate lobules and choose the largest ones for planting. Do not remove the protective husks from the teeth.
Garlic prefers sunny places and well-drained soils, so choose appropriate sites for planting.
Plant the lobes of garlic with the sharp end upwards at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other so that the tops are about 5 cm below the surface of the soil. Garlic is an excellent natural fungicide and pesticide, therefore it discourages aphids from tomatoes and roses. He is also a good companion for fruit trees, strawberries, cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli. Garlic with its sharp smell is not terrible moles, hares and deer.
You can mulch the newly planted garlic with a layer of chopped straw, dry leaves or hay - about 10 cm thick. Mulch will help maintain a uniform temperature of the soil during the winter, which in turn helps to preserve the roots, retain moisture and protect against weeds.
In the spring, when the shoots begin to break through the soil, the remnants of mulch can be removed.
The "stems" appearing at the end of spring must be cut off. They grow from the center of the denticles and take away the energy necessary for the growth of new bulbs.
Do not throw them away! They are very tasty, if they are cut and thrown on a heated cast-iron frying pan, and then season with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Garlic is ready for harvest when its leaves turn yellowish brown and begin to fall. With your hands or small scapula, carefully dig out the bulbs.
Carefully shake off the garlic dirt, and then leave the bulbs for two weeks in a well-ventilated shady place.
You can weave from the leaves of the pigtail or tie them into bundles to dry. You can also simply trim the roots and most of the stems and put garlic on the clothes drying rack or baking tray.
In a few weeks, when the shell becomes dry, you can completely cut off the tops and remove the bulbs of garlic for storage in a pantry, or hang the woven bulbs in a cabinet and cut one head as far as possible necessity.
Do not forget to keep some of the largest denticles for the autumn planting to harvest in the spring.