Garlic (Allium sativum) which is originated from Central Asia is a cool-weather perennial plant commonly planted in the cool of autumn or in early spring.
It is often classified as an herb is grown from cloves selected from medium to large bulbs, called heads, harvested the season before.
You can plant cloves from the heads purchased at a grocery store or farm market as long as they have not been treated to prevent sprouting.
It has solid, narrow, strap-shaped stalks that can grow 12 to 24 inches tall and 6 to 8 inches wide. Underground, it forms round, white papery sheathed bulbs or heads. A head is divided into a cluster of individual cloves. The bulbs form 4 to 5 inches below the soil surface.
Garlic flowers in spring and summer; small, white to pinkish flowers form atop globular umbels atop, a tall central stalk and it requires a long season for optimal yield; it’s long season of growth must include 6 or more weeks of chilly weather for optimal bulb or head production.
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Allow eight months to maturity after autumn planting for the largest bulbs; spring planted garlic (set out 6 weeks before the last frost) will reach maturity in about 100 days, but bulbs will not be as large as autumn planted garlic.
It can tolerate frost, but autumn planted cloves should be protected from frost heaving and freezing ground in cold-winter regions. It can be grown in containers.
Different Types of Garlic
There are three botanical groups and they include:
- Softneck garlic: The necks of this type are soft and pliable at maturity. Softneck is the strongest-flavored type. It is less winter hardy than the hardneck type but stores better. ‘Silverneck’ is a soft-neck suited to cool climates. ‘Red Torch’ is a softneck suited for warm climates.
- Harneck, also called Rocambole, and Spanish garlic: This garlic has a stiff central stem or neck which curls at the top forming a 360° coil. This type has a mild flavor. Harneck garlic is commonly left in the ground for two years before harvesting. ‘German Porcelain’ is a hard-neck type. ‘Killarney Red’ is a harneck garlic.
- Elephant garlic: Elephant garlic is not true garlic; it is a type of leek. This plant gets its name from its size; it has large fist-size bulbs weighing up to ½ pound or more. Elephant garlic has a mild flavor.
Meanwhile, of late there has been much in the news about the promising possibilities that it may help in reducing and maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol.
What is known for sure is that it is a terrific source of Vitamins A and C, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and a few amino acids.
Not only nutritious, it’s delicious! But have you ever wondered about the different types of the plants you can grow? Am certain you have read about that well explained on this article.
It’s history is long and convoluted. Originally from Central Asia, it has been cultivated in the Mediterranean for over 5,000 years. Gladiators ate it prior to battle and Egyptian slaves purportedly consumed it to give them strength to build the pyramids.
The names tend to be all over the map. This is because much of the seed stock has been developed by private individuals who can name the strain anything they desire.
Therefore, some of the plant varieties may be very much the same despite different names, and some with the same name may be very different from each other indeed.
It’s medicinal benefits include:
– Cardiovascular health
– Cancer prevention
– Immune enhancer
– Helpful in iron metabolism.
It is a power packed plant that’s easy to prepare and grow.