planting garlic winter solstice

June 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

It is the darkest day of the year today, the winter solstice. I’m so happy that from here on in things are only going to get brighter.

A wonderful thing to do on the shortest day of the year is plant garlic. So much to look forward to as each clove is pushed an inch deep into the ground. By the summer solstice they will be ready to harvest and you will have fresh garlic all of your own.

How to grow garlic

You can take any old garlic that you have bought from the shop, especially those that have begun to sprout, however, I prefer to use organic and the lovely fragrant purple varieties.

Choose a sunny, well-drained position with good fertile soil. I like to plant garlic around the borders of the vegie garden as they are great at keeping away pests and disease.

SeparateĀ all the cloves, leave the skins on, and plant about 15 cm apart, an inch deep, or so the top/pointy part of the clove is 2 cm bellow the surface. Cover with soil and wait patiently, they will take quite a few months before they are ready.

Each clove will grow into a plant that will contain a single bulb that can itself have up to 20 cloves.

You will know your garlic is ripe to harvest when the tops of the plant begin to dry off and die. If you harvest them to early your bulbs will be small, too late and they will split. A general rule is, plant them on the shortest day of the year and harvest them on the longest.

Your garlic will then need to be hung to dry in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks. You can then brush the dirt off. It is best not to wash them.

Here is one I snuck in about 2 weeks ago, they don’t take long to sprout.

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