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
• 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.