Garlic 101

Everything you need or want to know about GARLIC!

How to Grow Garlic?
  • Plant in fall. Some gardeners argue with me about this, but fall is more reliable than spring. Traditionally, September was the month, but that’s changing with our mild winters. I now put mine in during October or even November. Just don’t let your garlic dry out before planting.
  • It needs sun. Good drainage is equally important. Garlic rots in damp, shady areas. Work in some composted sheep manure or gritty builder’s sand (not lake sand). But don’t worry if your soil isn’t perfect. Mine isn’t.
  • Plant individual cloves, not the whole bulbs. The pointed bit should face upwards. About three inches deep is the rule, but go deeper if you’re bothered by squirrels.
  • The papery covering has fallen off? Not to worry. Just be careful when separating cloves from the main bulb. Don’t use any that are broken or split.
  • Gardening books consistently recommend spacing cloves six inches apart. But I’ve experimented and you can go tighter — about four inches apart — in a small area.
  • Seed garlic is simply fresh garlic, harvested this year. If you’ve bought some local stuff, that’s fine. But don’t use supermarket garlic.
  • The trendy garlic variety is called Music. It’s everywhere now, because it copes well with our winters. But look for East European varieties with names like German White (or Red), Bogaytr and Siberian. I prefer these simply because the bulbs are bigger. That means their individual cloves are easier to peel and use when cooking.
  • Make planting holes for each clove, drop them in, smoosh the soil back over the hole and water deeply. Spread a thick mulch on top. A layer of raked-up garden leaves is fine.
  • That’s about it. But if this winter is mild and you spot shoots popping up in December, don’t panic. Just cover them with more mulch. Then forget all about your precious cloves until next spring.
Garlic Tips!
  • Raw, freshly minced garlic has the most health benefits. If you cannot stand the smell and must cook it, you need at least four and a half cloves to get the same effect.
  • Although garlic is sometimes called “the stinking rose,” it can actually cure your rose plants from aphid attacks. Simply mix crushed garlic with water and spritz the leaves and flowers with the spray.
  • Drinking lemon juice or eating a few slices of lemon will stop bad garlic breath.
  • The flavor of garlic is most intense just after it has been minced.
  • Garlic applied on wounds can heal them faster. During World War I, this healing quality of garlic was harnessed intensively by British soldiers.
  • A crushed clove of raw garlic, gently rubbed on skin, can zap a pesky pimple. The secret: a powerful compound called allicin, which makes garlic among the most antioxidant-rich foods on earth.
  • Sprouted garlic loses some of its health benefits, but can still be used.
  • A Pennsylvania University research found that a compound called Diallyl disulfide in garlic could shrink bowel cancer cells. An important Washington State University study has conclusively proved that this compound is 100 times more effective than other antibiotics in easing bacteria-borne digestive ailments.
  • What’s the ideal dosage of garlic for you to derive all its amazing health benefits? The University of Maryland Medical Center, recommends daily 2 to 4 g of fresh, minced garlic clove; 600 to 1,200 mg daily if using aged garlic extract; two 200 mg tablets three times a day if using freeze-dried garlic; 4 ml daily of fluid garlic extract; 20 mL daily of garlic tincture or 0.03 to 0.12 ml three times daily if using garlic oil.
  • Not all is good about garlic and it is certainly not for everyone. Those on blood-thinning medication must not take garlic, because it inhibits the clotting of blood. For the same reason, garlic should not be taken before a surgery.
  • Read more:
More About Garlic

Garlic is one of the most valuable and versatile foods on the planet. Garlic belongs to the Allium family of vegetables which also includes onions, chives, shallots and leeks.

Today garlic is a widely recognized health enhancing supplement. Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. One of garlic’s most potent health benefits includes the ability to enhance the body’s immune cell activity.

Here is a list of links with information on how Garlic is good for your health:

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