Growing Your Own Organic Garlic Bulbs

Garlic is one of our favourite ingredients in the kitchen. It is a culinary powerhouse and a staple in kitchens around the world. It not only adds depth and flavor to your dishes, but also boasts a myriad of health benefits. Imagine the joy of plucking fresh, organic garlic bulbs from your own garden, knowing exactly where they came from and what went into their cultivation. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the rewarding journey of planting and growing your own organic garlic bulbs, ensuring a bountiful harvest that will elevate your culinary experiences.

How to grow your own Organic Garlic Bulbs in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Choose a Garlic Variety
Every garlic variety has it’s own specific taste and characteristics. Organic Garlic ‘Morado’ stands out in both domestic and global markets for its exceptional quality and robust flavor. With its intense aroma and spicy taste, this garlic variety typically boasts an average size of 8 to 10 cloves. Garlic ‘Vallelado’ is recognized for its generously sized bulbs, plump juicy cloves, and remarkable shelf life. For the damp winters in Britain, Organic Garlic ‘Messidor’ is a superb option, thanks to its resilient roots that can better endure the risk of rot. This variety yields large white cloves with a well-rounded flavor, making it an excellent choice for the challenging British climate

Step 2: Planning and Preparing the Soil
Garlic prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Start by preparing the soil in autumn, ideally a few weeks before planting. Work in organic matter, such as Moorland Gold potting and container compost, which is approved for organic growing, or well-rotted manure to enhance soil structure and fertility. Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogged conditions, which can lead to rot.

Step 3: Planting Organic Garlic Bulbs
Timing is crucial when planting garlic. In most regions in the UK, autumn or winter planting is recommended, allowing the bulbs to establish roots before winter dormancy. They will need a cold period to germinate. Break the garlic bulbs into individual cloves just before planting, leaving the papery skin intact. Plant cloves with the pointed end facing up, approximately 2 inches (5 cm.) deep and 6 inches (15 cm.) apart in rows spaced 12 (25 – 30 cm.) inches apart. Mulch the bed to regulate temperature and suppress weeds.

Step 4: Providing Adequate Care
Garlic is relatively low-maintenance, but a few key practices can ensure a successful crop. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, but avoid overwatering to prevent rot. Fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer in early spring as the plants begin to emerge. Remove any flower stems (scapes) that appear, directing the plant’s energy towards bulb development.

Step 5: Harvesting and Curing
As summer transitions to fall, monitor the garlic plants for signs of readiness. When the lower leaves turn yellow and start to dry, it’s time to harvest. Carefully loosen the soil around the bulbs and lift them from the ground. Allow the garlic to cure by drying them in a well-ventilated, shaded area for 2-3 weeks. This process enhances flavor and storage life.

Step 6Storing Your Garlic Harvest
Proper storage is essential to enjoy your homegrown garlic throughout the year. Once cured, trim the roots and cut the tops, leaving about an inch of stem. Store garlic bulbs in a cool, dry place with good air circulation, ideally in mesh bags or braided together. 

Conclusion: Planting and growing your own organic garlic bulbs is a rewarding journey that connects you with the earth and the food on your plate. From selecting the right variety to harvesting and storing, each step contributes to the success of your garlic crop. Embrace the process, savor the flavors, and enjoy the satisfaction of cultivating a kitchen essential right in your own backyard. 

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