After lettuce, garlic is that other plant that anyone should try to grow at home. Bury a clove of garlic now and wait. Before next summer you will be surprised picking a full garlic head. An appetizing delay that can multiply between five and ten times the amount you had. And so on forever.
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There are reasons to try: garlic is one of the simplest crops; and it grows well so much potted as on the ground. [Hace un tiempo te contamos cómo transformar un hueso de aguacate en una planta]. As long as you don’t forget water it during the driest periods and to give it all the sun you can, there is little else to do.
You can spend one euro a week on a handful of garlic that is worth it (or more than double it, if they are organic) or invest that euro, plant the best teeth you have, and have free garlic all year, and forever. There’s more: if you’ve never planted garlic, now is the perfect time to start.
Planting garlic: now is the time
The garlic needs to spend an approximate month (about 30 days) with a constant temperature below 10ºC: this cold is essential to activate genes that cause the bulb to start dividing and form several individual teeth.
Without this period cold period, technically called vernalizationYour plant will also grow happily, but you will get a single thickened bulb without differentiated teeth; more like a small onion. Although, of course, you can also commit it.
That is, cold nights are essential so that what you collect in summer is a head of garlic with between five and ten cloves. So, you have to start now, during October and November: the soil remains warm enough in the fall to allow the garlic to begin to grow. Thus, in December you should already see the first sprout appear from the pot.
But true magic occurs underground, and once the winter cold sets in: the planted clove thickens and begins to multiply to form a whole new head of garlic. In spring, as the days get longer and the earth warms up, your little garlic plant will be back in business, and it will grow. And so on until summer: when it will be ready to add it to your dishes.
Potted or ground garlic
The garlic clove needs a depth of at least 2.5 centimeters (cm) to grow; But you can also plant it deeper, about 10 cm, in a pot with rich soil, which does not get flooded and in full sun.
Poke a hole in the ground with a shovel, or use your fingers, to bury the tooth instead of pushing it, as you could damage its base, where the roots will come from. The most pointed part should be up: it is the one that will form the stem.
If you are going to plant several teeth (something very advisable), separate them between 10 and 15 cmOtherwise, the bulbs will eventually steal space and you will get smaller teeth that have not finished growing. Or use multiple pots. You can add a fertilizer in the middle of spring; but if your soil is reasonably good, even this is not necessary.
HoweverIf you plant your garlic in a pot, use one that is deep; And you will need to add fertilizer once a week starting in April, as the nutrients in your soil will have started to run out. And remember that you will need to water it regularly as summer approaches.
Now, avoid watering the bulbs once they are formed, because you can make rot. [En este artículo te enseñamos cómo hacer el mejor fertilizante para tus plantas, y solo necesitas los restos de comida de tu cocina].
Will the garlic from the supermarket grow?
Yes; in fact, planting your supermarket garlic is the easiest way to get started; Especially if you have a tooth at home that has already begun to stem. However, choose only the best, the largest, strongest and thickest. And if you can buy at a farmers market or choose an organic and local variety (that has grown in your same community), all the better.
This ensures that the garlic is of the best quality, does not contain growth inhibitors and is adapted to grow in your climate. That is: if we buy chinese garlic or that come from another distant geographical place, and, in addition, these have been watered with substances to prevent germination, they will not grow us.
Another option is to buy garlic to plant in a nursery or in an online store. Or ask a neighbor or friend who has already started in this tasty art. [Hace unos días te contamos cómo escoger las plantas más sanas de la floristería o el vivero].
What you need to get through the year
It depends on how much you like garlic. In my case, a lot. If this is also your case, with about forty cloves of garlic you will have free food for the whole year. Since each bulb contains between five and ten cloves, depending on the variety, you will need between four and eight heads.
Your garlic will be ready in summer. To test, lift them up a bit with a shovel or fork. And put them in an airy place to dry. Afterwards, you can keep them in a dry and cool place until you need them; or hang them: that way they will last you all year long. And don’t throw away the green stalks – they are delicious in salad or as a garnish. Good luck!
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