Garlic, now that is my favorite, and it always delivers. Looks great in the garden and is very easy to grow. We start our baby garlics in October – they are cloves from the last year’s harvest. We fork up their bed with compost and manure; we add some ranch mix (cottonseed meal, seaweed, oyster shell flour…) and then water it in well. Every clove gets pushed into the soil and the whole thing is then covered in straw. If things are a little cool, then we cover with a woven row cover; but if it is a warm fall, we leave them uncovered and water regularly. As fall lengthens, we cover anyway as protection against our winter’s frost – garlic will fail if it gets frozen. We use a heavy mulch and the row covers to protect them. When spring arrives , we top dress them hard with manure to encourage rapid growth. We expect harvest in late spring, around the first week of June.
When you harvest, fork the plants up, tops and all. Wash em up and dry them out throughly. You will use those tops to braid your garlic for storage. We keep ours in our pantry – at as moderate temperature as we can.
Garlic is central to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which also involves lots of vegetables, fish and olive oil. Allicin is the compound that provides most of the health benefits derived from garlic and it also gives garlic its distinctive smell. Garlic is very rich in Vitamin C, in Vitamin B6 and in Manganese. Garlic use has a significant impact on your susceptibility to the flu and the common cold. High doses of garlic will actually reduce high blood pressure for those who suffer from this issue. The antioxidants in garlic helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.