Garlic or the stinking rose is a popular and healthy root vegetable commonly used in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. Aside from its many culinary benefits, garlic is also an effective insect repellent and can help you fight harmful pests in your greenhouse. It is easy to grow by following these steps.
- Start by preparing a patch inside your greenhouse kit. Garlic generally grows well on a clear ground without weeds so tilling the ground just before planting is essential. Preferably, the soil should be well drained and fertile. Add compost or well-rotted manure along with general-purpose fertilizer to enrich the soil.
- The preferred soil temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pick a healthy bulb and separate the cloves apart while ensuring that each individual clove retains its papery husk. Plant these just below the soil surface, about 6 inches apart and in rows that are 12 inches apart. The wide root side should face down with the pointed end facing up.
- While frost does not necessarily affect garlic, people living in areas that experience a hard frost should plant six to eight weeks before the anticipated frost.
- Apply adequate mulch to prevent overwintering but ensure you remove it when the frost subsides.
- When garlic begins to flower, cut off the shoots because leaving them on may lead to smaller sized bulbs.
Tips and tricks
Separate the garlic cloves just before planting, preferably within 24 hours so the root nodules do not dry. This helps the cloves to set root quickly. Do not use grocery store-bought garlic as planting material. They may not be the suitable varieties for your area and, most are treated for extended shelf life meaning they take considerably longer to set root.
- Garlic has very few pest related problems because it is an effective pest-repellent. However, Birds, especially pigeons can be problematic especially if you set up your greenhouse kits in a manner that allows them to enter. These birds can damage seedlings, garlic buds, and leaves.
- White rot may also be a problem but this can be contained by rotating crops.
Garlic requires between 2 and 4 inches of water, applied every four days. You can cut this down and water every five days when the vegetable starts producing bulbs.
Garlic thrives in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil with pH of 6.5 to 7.0.
Garlic requires plenty of sunshine so when buying a greenhouse kit, ensure the greenhouse you put up will allow for adequate light.
When the garlic plants mature, the lower leaves turn brown before drying up and finally falling off the plant. Harvest before all the leaves fall off or when the plant has four or five leaves left.