How to grow and care for Garlic at home:Proven medicinal properties
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Garlic is one of the most used kitchen ingredient and garlic leaves gives best benefits if used fresh. They are one of the most easy to grow vegetables in your backyard and event you can grow for leaves in small pots as well. Garlic can be grown round the year in mild climatic conditions and are resistant to diseases and pests. Garlic care is minimal and thrive when provided with proper conditions.
Quick Details and Care of Garlic
|Other Common Names||Garlic, Lahsun|
|Type||Outdoor vegetable plant|
|Flowering||Mid June- September|
|Light||Bright direct sunlight|
|Water||Do not require much watering if grown in ground|
|Soil||Sandy loamy nutrient rich well draining soil|
|Fertilizer||Any fertilizer rich in nitrogen, compost or manure|
|Habitat||Central Asia, Northeastern Iran|
|Common Diseases||White rot|
|Scientific name||Allium sativum|
Overview of Garlic
Garlic is grown around the world and is related to onion, leeks, and chives. It used as an herb and vegetable. Technically Garlic are perennial flowering plants belonging to the family Amaryllidaceae. They grow from bulbs which are basically swollen stem. The leaves are flat, solid , wide with acute apex.
The Garlic plants produce a long stem which bears the flower. The plants produce pink or purple flowers from July to September. The Garlic bulb contains outer layer of thin sheath and contains 15-30 cloves each.
The pungent smell of garlic is because of the compound called as “Alliin” which turns in to “Allicin” and other sulfur compounds, thus producing the smell.
Garlic are rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, calcium,manganese and zinc. The extracts are also used in traditional medicine as a remedy for common cold, issues related to digestive system, cancer, cardio vascular illness etc. They also have anti microbial activities.
Usage and Advantage of Garlic
- Garlic is one of the most used ingredients in kitchen around the world
- It is used to flavor food.
- It plays an important role in traditional medicine.
- The cloves are consumed even raw and helps in reducing cholesterol.
- Garlic is full of nutrients.
General Care for Garlic
The Garlic plants do not require much care. Mulch the areas surrounding the plant to maintain warmth and moisture. Harvest the bulbs when the bottom leaves turns brown.
Garlic prefer a well drained sandy loamy soil rich in nutrients. The beds can be raised to increase drainage of the soil. The soil pH can range between 6-7.5.
The Garlic plants have roots that run deep in to the soil. They do not require much watering if you are growing in ground. Water the plants when the soil is dry.
If you are growing in pots you need to do regular watering and soil should not become too hard and dry.
The Garlic plants prefer bright direct sunlight for at least 5-6 hours a day.
The Garlic plants prefer warm climates. Cloves can be planted depending on the climatic conditions. In colder regions, plant them before winters. In warmer regions and places with no harsh winters, the garlic can be planted throughout the year.
The Garlic plants do not require much feeding. Compost or manure can be added to the soil before planting or sowing seeds. A nitrogen rich fertilizer can be added ones in a month after germination, till the bulbs develop.
Pests and other problems for Garlic
The Garlic plants are not prone to diseases or pests. Neem oil can be sprayed ones in a month to keep the pests away.
In cold conditions, the plants can be affected with white rot. This can be prevented by crop rotation.
Propagation of Garlic
Propagation of Garlic plants can be done through cloves. The cloves used for propagation are mostly viable ones obtained directly from a nursery. The cloves from the garlic available as a vegetable in markets have chemicals that inhibit growth.
Select a healthy clove. Larger cloves produces bigger bulbs. Place the cloves 2 inches deep and 4-6 inch apart from each other with the pointed tip facing upwards. Water them regularly. The cloves germinate within 3-4 weeks.