Garlic belongs to the bulb family and is easy to grow yourself. It is best to put the garlic in a sunny place in well drained and humus rich soil. This is also possible in flower boxes if they are protected from the earth freezing through during the winter, for example by wrapping them with bubble wrap.
Location & soil
In Central Europe, garlic thrives particularly well in wine-growing regions, because it loves warmth and sun. The soil should be loose, rich in humus and free from weeds. Like all bulbous plants, garlic has shallow roots, so sandy soils are unsuitable because of the risk of drying out. Garlic is very sensitive to stagnant moisture and rots easily. In order for the onions to ripen well, the temperature should always be below 18 degrees Celsius.
Sowing & planting
Garlic is propagated via the so-called “stick”. To do this, you can simply germinate individual cloves of garlic from a tuber and then stick them upright in the soil and cover with 5 cm of soil. When sticking, make sure that the tip is pointing upwards so that the plant can take root.
The best time to plant garlic is in autumn, from mid-September to October (winter garlic). This is still possible in early spring, but then the harvest will be somewhat smaller due to the shorter cultivation time (summer garlic).
Seed depth: 5cm
Plant spacing: 10x20cm
You can stick the garlic cloves straight into the ground. Usually autumn is sufficiently humid that you don’t have to do anything else. A thin layer of mulch protects against severe frost.
Prefer: for summer garlic in February, not necessary for winter garlic
Plant out in the bed / direct sowing: September to October (winter garlic), spring (summer garlic)
Harvest time: from July (winter garlic) August (summer garlic)
If you’ve missed the optimal time, you can also let your toes germinate on damp kitchen paper to make up for some time. Soon after plugging in, the first green will show on the surface.
Good Neighbors / Bad Neighbors: Garlic is considered an organic pesticide. Pests can’t stand the smell of the plant. Garlic itself rarely suffers from disease or pest infestation. The spicy leek plant is therefore particularly popular as protection between strawberries, cucumbers, carrots, roses, lilies, tulips and tomatoes in the garden.
Avoid garlic from the supermarket for propagation as it is used to warmer climatic conditions. Better to use a “mother tuber” that has grown here.
Care & fertilization
Garlic is easy to care for. It is usually sufficient if you keep the soil free of weeds and carefully loosen it up from time to time. Garlic also requires little water.
From around July the foliage turns brown, but this happens later when stuck in spring. Harvest the tubers when there is a little bit of green left in the foliage. With a later harvest you run the risk of not finding all the tubers, because the foliage then comes off very easily, and the tubers can then fall apart, which shortens the shelf life.
The leaves themselves can also be used well, but harvesting is at the expense of the tuber growth. We recommend growing chopped garlic as an aromatic alternative.
Let the tubers dry off in an airy place for a few days. Perhaps you have already seen the typical garlic braids on which the bulbs are intertwined on the leaves and hung in a dry place. If you’re happy with your strain, remember to save enough cloves for sticking the new garlic.
- Store in a cool and dry place
- Never store your garlic in an airtight plastic bag, as it could go moldy
- Do not store the garlic in the refrigerator, otherwise the bulbs will become bitter
Pests & Diseases
Garlic is seldom afflicted by the leek moth or the onion fly, and in very wet years it can also become moldy. Otherwise no major problems are to be expected, planted in mixed culture, it even protects strawberries with its strong aroma and its antiseptic effect against gray mold and other pests.
Nutrients, Processing & Recipes
Allicin is the name of the essential oil that gives garlic its infamous smell. But it also ensures a healthy cardiovascular system by counteracting high blood pressure and lowering fat and cholesterol levels in the blood. It is also effective against colds and a large number of bacteria and fungi. Garlic is also rich in nutrients but low in calories. Furthermore, garlic acts as an antioxidant as an important component in the fight against free radicals. It contains the nutrients vitamin B6, C and A as well as zinc and manganese, which strengthens the connective tissue and supports bone formation. And even grandmother used garlic for hair loss. Garlic is also good for the intestines as it aids digestion.
- Supports the cardiovascular system
- Great for colds
- Acts as an antioxidant against free radicals
- Strengthens the connective tissue and bone formation
- Stimulates digestion
Garlic must never be seared too hot, whether as a whole toe, sliced or pressed, otherwise it will burn and develop an acrid and bitter spiciness.
It is best to remove the green strand in the middle of the garlic and pound it with a mortar or similar before processing.
Recipes with garlic – the best from the tuber
Depending on your preference, slice between three cloves and a whole bulb of garlic. Put the garlic in a clean bottle and pour in good quality olive or other vegetable oil. Let it steep for a few days and your homemade garlic oil is ready.
Vegan garlic dip
Mix 125 grams of vegan natural yoghurt, 150 grams of vegan créme fraiche, 100 grams of vegan mayonnaise, 2 pressed garlic cloves, a tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of mustard and a teaspoon of sugar. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and let it steep overnight. Your delicious garlic dip is ready.
Spaghetti aglio e olio
Cook the spaghetti al dente and collect half a cup of the pasta water. Heat olive oil and fry the garlic on a low (!) Flame for about 5 minutes. The garlic should only brown lightly. Add pepper, chilli flakes, salt and the collected pasta water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add spaghetti and parsley. Mix well once and you’re done!