Garlic

Allium sativum

Knoffel (Afr.)

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Allium sativum is more commonly known by the name Garlic. This species is an easy to grow member of the Amaryllidaceae family, producing a compact bulb of individual cloves which can be used for propagation. Needs minimal maintenance, keep the area where they are growing weed-free and well-watered. Garlic grows in a wide variety of soil conditions as long as it is well-drained, fertile and has a near-neutral pH. Plant out cloves in late summer to early autumn for the best results. Garlic grows in two ways, 'Hardneck' or 'Softneck'. Hardneck types produce an edible flower stem and cloves that do not store well but some produce pretty bulbs and cloves. Softneck types store for longer than Hardneck varieties and some produce 10-16 cloves per bulb.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Spring

Harvesting

Garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest within 6 to 7 months when tops begin to yellow and fall over but harvest them before they dry out. Cure plants by hanging the bulbs in a cool dry place.

Propagation

Seed

Sowing seeds in Summer and Autumn, 3-4 cm deep and 7-10 cm apart.

Special features

Pot plant

Garlic can be grown in a pot as long as the container is deeper than 10 cm

Repels harmful insects

Works as an insect repellant

Crop rotation

Garlic is a light feeder, rotate crops annually to avoid a build up of disease in the soil.

Special features

Origin

Central and Southwestern Asia, Europe, North America.

Natural climate

Mediterranean

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Edible

Garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked and the flower neck of the Hardneck variety is edible and can be eaten in salads or stir-fries​.

Notes

Culinary, medicinal

Personality

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Flower colour

Purple, White

Scent

Strong

Problems

Plant cloves deeply to prevent freezing which causes white rot fungus that affects the base of the leaves and roots. Rotate crops and clear the area after harvesting to prevent disease buildup. Pink root stunts the roots and turns them pink or red.

Companion plants

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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