Parenting - - In This Issue -

In the gar­den this month

• Gar­lic is six month crop, tra­di­tion­ally planted on the short­est day and

har­vested on the long­est. But in re­al­ity your plant­ing time de­pends

on your cli­mate and can be any­time from May through June.

• While gar­lic bulbs from the su­per­mar­ket might look good enough to

plant, they may have been treated to stop them sprout­ing. It is best

to use ones from the gar­den cen­tre; th­ese are of­ten re­ferred to as the

mother bulb.

• Be­fore plant­ing, pre­pare the soil with gen­er­ous amounts of com­post

and blood and bone. Choose a site with full sun and good drainage.

• Break apart the head and sep­a­rate off each in­di­vid­ual clove. Dis­card

any that are dam­aged and the very small cloves you will find in the

cen­tre – the larger cloves will give you the best plants. Plant with the

point fac­ing up­wards at a depth of 5cm with ap­prox 15cm be­tween

each plant. Rows should be 25cm apart.

• Make sure you wa­ter in the dry months. Fail­ure to pro­vide enough

wa­ter can re­sult in small bulbs.

When­when theit comes lower to leaves har­vest, start let to the turn plants brown. be By your this guide. time the Watch tops for will

have flow­ered and mostly dried off. Don’t pull the gar­lic out – lift

it out by dig­ging un­der­neath the bulb leav­ing the bulb and stalks

at­tached. If the weather is dry enough, leave them on top of the soil

for a few days with the stalks cov­er­ing the bulbs for some pro­tec­tion.

If this isn’t pos­si­ble, spread them out on the floor of a dry shed. This

ripens and cures the bulb ready for stor­age.

• Clean off all the soil and ei­ther plait them to­gether, or gather in

bunches and hang in a cool dry place ready for use.

• Gar­lic can be used as an in­sec­ti­cide and is es­pe­cially use­ful on soft

body in­sects such as cater­pil­lars. Roughly chop 100g of gar­lic and

mix with 2 tbsp min­eral oil or liq­uid paraf­fin. Leave this to soak for 48

hours. Add half a litre of wa­ter and 30g pure soap, mix well, and then

fil­ter through a sieve or muslin cloth. When us­ing add 15ml (3tsp) to

1 litre of wa­ter and spray as nec­es­sary.

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