There are two types of garlic- hardneck and softneck. Hardneck garlic produces a flower spike, which can be eaten, while softneck garlic does not. Softneck garlic tends to store for a longer period of time. Garlic is a must-have vegetable because it is simple to grow. Bulbs planted in autumn have more time to develop than those planted in spring, allowing them to produce an extensive root system. This, in turn, increases the chances of a better harvest.
Choose the larger cloves of garlic to plant, as they will give you a larger yield. Smaller cloves can be grown in pots. Plant the cloves in light, sandy soil 2-3 inches deep, and in heavy soil, plant them 1-2 inches deep, spaced 6-8 inches apart. Be sure to keep the area weed-free and to not fertilize until spring, when you can apply a high nitrogen fertilizer as a top dressing.
The ideal time to harvest garlic is between June and July, or when the leaves start to turn yellow. Gently lift the bulbs with a fork or by hand, being careful not to damage them. Remove any dirt or soil from the bulbs. At this stage, the garlic is known as “wet garlic” and can be eaten as is. Store your garlic in a dry, sunny spot until the outer skin is paper-like and dry. Once fully dry, trim the garlic and store it in a mesh bag or woven into a plait.
Pests and Diseases
White rot of onions is a fungal disease that manifests itself in the leaves, which wilt and turn yellow. If you dig up a garlic bulb, you may see a white, fluffy growth on it. There is no chemical treatment for white rot of onions, unfortunately. Leek rust is a fungus that can cause bright yellow spots to appear on the leaves. This generally won’t affect the plant or yield.