Ward­ing off win­ter colds by grow­ing some gar­lic

Bay News - - Front Page -

OWIS THE TIME to plant gar­lic and shal­lots. At this time of year the weather cools off and the dreaded com­mon cold be­gins its merry rounds. With that in mind, there comes an in­crease in the amount of gar­lic eaten at our house, as it is known to help ward off the snif­fles. So we grow our own and this is so easy to do.

Yum… gar­lic is good in all sorts of dishes, es­pe­cially hot soups, roasted with your vegeta­bles and used in stir fries.

Gen­er­ally you plant gar­lic and shal­lots in the fur to six weeks around the short­est day and har­vest around the long­est day of the year.

Prior to plant­ing gar­lic add some com­post and bulb fer­tiliser to the soil bed. You may wish to plant into the veg­etable gar­den or in amongst other plants (like roses) in the gar­den. Gar­lic will help to ward off in­sect pests too.

Split the gar­lic bulb into in­di­vid­ual cloves and plant at 5- 10 cmdeep and about 15-20cm apart. Make sure that the weeds don’t take over and wa­ter reg­u­larly with­out over wa­ter­ing (par­tic­u­larly prior to har­vest). Three good fat bulbs will split up enough to be able to pro­duce about 1kg of gar­lic!

Lift at about the long­est day and dry the gar­lic with the stems on. You can lay them out on a ta­ble some­where in the sun un­der cover to do this. In Marl­bor­ough, as they don’t have much rain in the sum­mer, the gar­lic is left to dry in the hot sun on the ground. As we tend to get a bit more rain here, it is a good idea to keep them un­der cover to dry. You can then ei­ther top and tail them, which is ba­si­cally snip­ping the shoots and roots off, or if you are cre­ative, plait them into a long bunch and hang up in a warm dry place. We store ours in the hot wa­ter cup­board (not with the linen though!)

Gar­lic and shal­lots can eas­ily be grown in con­tain­ers too. Use a good qual­ity pot­ting­mix such as bulb mix. Feed reg­u­larly through the grow­ing months with Ican fast Food, wa­ter reg­u­larly and har­vest as per nor­mal.

We have two types of gar­lic, white print­anor with great real gar­lic flavour and ele­phant gar­lic, big cloves that are not as strong flavoured.

Shal­lots French Red are also avail­able now and are lovely to use with their sub­tle flavour.

So keep healthy and get that gar­lic in now.

■ www.decor­gar­den­world.co.nz ■ www.face­book.com/decor­gar­den­world

Ward off colds— make din­ners won­der­ful with gar­lic.

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