Hydroponic garlic chives how to grow

Planting garlic: how to grow it

Growing garlic in your own garden is not difficult - if the location is right: Garlic grows well on warm and loose soils in a sunny location. Somewhat windy locations are ideal, as the garlic fly (Suillia univittata), the greatest enemy of the aromatic leek plant, cannot usually cause any damage here. Wet and heavy soils, on the other hand, are not suitable. Garlic has shallow roots, which is why sandy, humus-poor soils are not ideal because of the risk of drying out.

When should you plant garlic?

Autumn and spring are suitable as planting dates for garlic. The toes of the winter garlic planted in autumn produce larger bulbs, but the plant protection problems are usually greater as the garlic fly has more time to wreak havoc. The bed care, including weed control, naturally takes more time due to the longer cultivation time. The spring garlic, which is not winter-hardy, is recommended especially for beginners, the toes of which are set from mid-February to mid-April and produce bulbs that are ready for harvest by autumn. They are slightly smaller than those of the winter garlic.

Garlic cultivation: planting bulbils or cloves

There are two common ways of growing garlic: Either you put the cloves or the small bulbs that the garlic forms on the tip. In the first year, so-called round bulbs develop from the bulbils, and in the second year they become whole tubers. So you have to wait two years after sticking until you have harvested tubers. Garlic grown from bulbils is more robust and forms larger bulbs. In addition, all the cloves of garlic can be used up, as you do not have to save any seedlings for the new season - otherwise around a fifth of the cloves.

In the spring, either place the bulbs at the right distance - about ten centimeters - or put them closer together with about three centimeters and then separate them. By the end of July, the young plants have drawn in the leaves. Now take the resulting round pieces out of the ground and store them in the shade and dry until they are stuck again in autumn. Then they are placed in the row at a distance of 10 to 15 centimeters and with a row spacing of 25 to 30 centimeters again.

The cloves of garlic are placed about two to three centimeters deep in the ground from mid-September to early October or in spring from mid-February to mid-March, with the bulb bottom facing down. Keep the same planting distance as with the brood bulbs. It is advisable to put your toes in the planting holes at a slight angle to avoid root rot. For later planting dates, it makes sense to drive your toes on damp kitchen paper in a bright environment with room warmth - this way they will grow faster in the garden bed.

Step by step: put garlic in the right way

Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler
Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler

For example, stick your garlic in a harvested potato or bean patch. The bed is first cleared of weeds and loosened with the sow tooth. Then fertilize the soil with about two liters of compost per square meter and rake it in well.

Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler
Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler

A plant line ensures that the row of garlic will straighten out later.

Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler
Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler

Now detach the daughter onions, the so-called toes, from the central mother onion as seedlings.

Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler
Put the garlic in the bed
Photo: MSG / Martin Staffler
Put the garlic in the bed

The toes are inserted about three centimeters deep into the prepared bed at a distance of 15 centimeters. The garlic is then usually ready to harvest from the end of April, depending on the weather.

Fertilizing and caring for garlic

Always grow your garlic as far away as possible from onions, leeks and chives, because all plants can be attacked by the leek miner fly. Apart from this pest and the garlic fly, however, it is quite resistant to diseases and pests. Garlic is also an excellent mixed culture partner for strawberries and a very undemanding medium eater. If the soil is supplied with two to three liters of compost per square meter when preparing the bed, the nutrient requirements of the plants are largely met. In the main growth phase up to the end of May you can fertilize them once or twice with weakly dosed nettle manure. It is poured rather moderately and without wetting the leaves. Winter garlic should be chopped in early spring and twice during the growing season. The plants also like soil mulched with straw.

When can you harvest garlic?

From the end of June the leaves and stems of the garlic turn from green to yellow. As soon as two thirds of the plant are yellow, usually in mid-July, the tubers should be removed. When garlic is harvested, they must not be open yet, otherwise they will fall apart and the exposed toes will not last long. After you have pulled the plants out of the ground, it is best to store them hung up in a dry and shady place for a few days. If garlic is stored properly, namely in a cool and dry place, it will last for six to eight months.

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Video: Make wild garlic pesto yourself

If garlic is too aromatic for you, you can also use wild garlic in the kitchen. In this video we show you how you can make delicious wild garlic pesto yourself.

Wild garlic can be easily processed into delicious pesto. In this video we show you how to do it.
Credit: MSG / Alexander Buggisch