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GARLIC GROWING INFORMATION
© Frances Michaels
BOTANICAL NAME: Allium sativum
krathiem; bawang putih; bawang
Garlic is a well-known bulb with flat, grey-green leaves. Different varieties vary in their suitability
for different climate zones. Garlic does best in light, well-drained soil and likes full sun. Improve
the soil by adding compost or well-rotted animal manures before planting. Mulch well, as garlic dislikes
competition from weeds. Regular watering is important, do not allow the soil to completely dry out during
bulb formation. Stop watering once the tops brown.
its uses are many and varied; it can be baked, boiled, sautéed and
grilled. It is nutritious, being high in vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. The young leaves and sprouts are
considered a delicacy.
plant garlic among roses and fruit trees to repel pests such
Recommended Planting Time:
Separate the garlic bulb into cloves before
planting. Garlic should be planted in March to early April in warmer climates (Qld and northern NSW).
Planting after April will reduce the size of the bulbs. Garlic planted in March will be ready for harvest
by September. In cooler climates it can be planted in autumn or spring.
The tops of the bulbs should be just below the soil surface.
The flatter or root end should be pointing down.
Plant cloves about 10 cm apart, in rows about 40 cm apart.
Harvest and Storage:
Garlic usually takes about 8 months to produce a bulb.
Harvest when the tops begin to turn brown; don't wait until the tops have completely died back. Treat the
bulbs gently as bruised bulbs do not store well. Hang the whole plant in bunches, or spread on racks, and
allow to dry undercover for 2 to 3 weeks. The skins will then become papery and dry. Either plait the garlic
or remove the leaves and roots, to store on racks or in net bags. Good air circulation is essential. Bulbs
store better stored whole, not separated into cloves.
is a soft-neck, non-bolting type with a white skin and
occasional purple marks. It is a medium to large bulb. It requires a cold temperate climate with cold winters,
a warm spring and a hot dry summer. Suitable for Victoria and southern NSW and cooler, inland areas further
is a soft-neck type with a purple skin, selected by Gatton
Research Station as being suitable for Australian conditions, from the Atherton Tableland to SA. It is a
top-setting, early, day-length neutral garlic, which makes it far more suitable for warmer areas, than
other garlic cultivars.
has a creamy white skin, and forms a medium to large bulb
with up to 17 cloves per bulb. It is a softneck garlic which does not produce a flower stem. Do not plant
the small, inner bulbs of softneck garlic as they are unlikely to do well. When the garlic bulb is mature
the leaves begin to die back.
is a hardneck or top-setting variety which usually produces
a flower stem in early summer. It is mainly suitable for cooler areas. It is also called a 'rocambole'
variety from the habit the flower stem has of looping over on itself to produce a distinctive twist.
Rocambole types have a sweet, nutty flavour with 6-8 cloves per bulb. They are ready to harvest when the coil
twist in the flower stem begins to straighten and the flower stem begins to soften.
'Red Rocambole' syn. Creole 'Rojo de Castro'
is a hardneck or top-setting garlic variety which usually
produces a flower stem in early summer. Worth buying just for cooking, this organic garlic is a powerhouse of flavour, definitely one
for the gourmet. The silvery white bulbs are smaller than some types but the cloves are a good size with a beautiful and distinctive crimson
skin. This garlic has recently been relabelled as a Creole type which makes it suitable for a range of growing areas.
Avoid planting garlic purchased at the greengrocers, as this is likely to be imported garlic with an
associated risk of introducing serious virus diseases to your soil.