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20 Apr 2010

Garlic planting underway

Its garlic planting time again in southern Tassie.
Category: General
Posted by: christina
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When do you plant garlic? A good rule of thumb for Hobart dwellers is some time around the Anzac Day weekend. Traditional folk lore says plant garlic on the shortest day (21 June) and harvest on the longest (21 December) but we usually plant in April and harvest in late November. You can plant anytime in May too, and we have seen acceptable crops from June planted garlic.

How do you plant it? Beg, borrow or buy some good looking organic heads of garlic (avoid the bleached fumigated radiated napalmed white stuff from China which can scarcely be classed as food). Break the heads up and separate out the bigger cloves from the smaller cloves. The larger the clove you plant, the larger the head will grow. So when selecting garlic to plant try to find ones with nice plump cloves. Take the small ones to the kitchen to cook with.

Plant the cloves with the flat bit down and the pointy bit up, so that the pointy bit is just below the ground surface. Poke them in securely, or the fountain of new roots that come out the bottom can push the clove up out of the ground.

Garlic isn't fussy about soil, but obviously the richer and better prepared the soil is, the better result you'll get. If the bed they are going into hasn't been limed for a long time, work in a bit of dolomite a few weeks before planting.  Young garlic plants are not competitive with weeds, so keep an eye on the garlic bed and weed diligently for at least a few months till the plants get big.

How much to grow? Well, depends how much you like garlic! If you eat a head a week, plant 50 or so, plus another 10 for planting again next time round.

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