Edible Garden series part 1During the last month or more, seeds, and seedlings have been flying off the shelves.
Seed companies and nurseries, normally would expect that at the start of spring, but in these current times, people are turning to good old fashioned growing your own veggies.
That’s a good thing, but what should beginner and advanced gardeners really need to know to be successful.
So if you haven’t started a veggie garden yet think on this.
· save money and supplement your household food supply
· save water – home grown food uses less water relative to the amount of food harvested
· reduce your shopping miles
· reduce packaging
· reduce food waste
· enjoy fresher, more nutritious and more delicious food
· know exactly what you're eating (e.g. no pesticides)
· get some exercise and reduce your stress levels.
Things to consider:
- Is the ground surface cover easy to walk and stand on?
- Can you access the areas easily with a wheel barrow?
- You also need to ask yourself:
- Can you get water in the area?
- Is there a tap close by?
- Do I need to get a longer hose?
- Do I need another water tank?
- Not exactly in the same league as vampires but did you know that eating garlic helps keeps mosquitos away?
- Did you know that garlic as a crop, was used in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt from at least 2000 BC.
- What about this for a sure fire hangover cure from Roman times- boil 16 bulbs (not cloves) of garlic in a bucket of wine, mmm lovely.
- Later on people thought that hanging garlic bulbs on doors would check the spread of diseases such as smallpox.
- Garlic grows best when the temperature is between 13º to 24ºC.
- That’s why Garlic is traditionally planted in cold weather and harvested in summer ("plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest").
- Garlic grows best on fertile, well-drained, loamy soils.
So you’ve bought your Garlic bulb, what do you do with it?
- What you need to do first is separate them from the bulb, point upwards, deep enough to just cover each clove with soil.
- When you plant the cloves, don't plant too deeply otherwise they will rot off.
- TIP: Plant them so the tops of the bulbs are just below the surface and about 8 cm apart with the point end facing up.
- Garlic usually takes about 17-25 weeks. 4-6 months to mature.
- You can tell because the leaves or stalks have flopped over and turned brown.
- While your garlic is still growing, give it plenty of water, (especially in the coming spring).
- Also fertilise, 2 or 3 times throughout the growing season.
- Some young shoots can be cut off for a garnish or you can even pick the young garlic and eat the 'green' garlic leaves and all.
- Reduce water at end of Spring (4 weeks prior to harvesting) that’s if you plant them right away.
- If you're garlic has flowered, you've left it to long.
- Cloves that haven’t been treated can be saved and planted in the garden.
You can buy Garlic from online suppliers or from organic suppliers. Remember that garlic plants will grow to be 50 – 75cm tall.
- Softnecks are the most common garlics grown, and are the ones found in supermarkets.
- There’s also the extra large garlic called Elephant or Giant Russian garlic and has a milder flavour but is great for roasting.
|Garlic mushrooms anyone?|