While it may be easier to buy your garlic straight from the supermarket, there is a certain satisfaction to be had from raising plants straight from garlic seeds for cooking and further propagation. This is only one reason why you might want to grow your own garlic. In addition to being fun to plant and grow, homegrown garlic is healthier than store-bought garlic, easy to grow, and very low maintenance.
Garlic is easy to plant and grow
While some vegetables are tricky to propagate and maintain, garlic is not one of them. It grows easily with only a small amount of water throughout the season. Plant the larger garlic cloves about 1” deep and store the smaller cloves in the fridge for cooking.
Garlic needs average sandy loam soil (with some organic compost for added nutrients), a bit of water a week, and a garden bed free from weeds. Other than that, growing garlic is a quick and easy process. If you plant in the fall, you can expect to harvest in the late spring to early summer.
You can grow a lot in a small space
One of the major barriers to growing fruit or vegetables is the amount of space you have available. But, with garlic, you don’t have to worry about not having access to a large garden or yard.
Garlic is easy to plant because it only needs to be 6” apart, meaning you can fit a lot into one small garden bed. The single crop of garlic you grow in your tiny garden could last you for months. In a small, 2’ x 2’ garden, you could grow up to 20 cloves.
There are many options of garlic to choose from
While it’s easier to go to your local supermarket and buy garlic, growing it yourself gives you access to far more options than any store could provide. Allium sativum is the most common type of garlic you often find at a local store. It’s also known as culinary garlic.
But, by growing garlic plants of your choice, you can experiment with hard and soft neck garlic, elephant seed garlic, and more. If you’re a garlic lover, it’s hard to beat the variety that your garden can provide.
Garlic is low maintenance
Garlic’s low maintenance is one of the primary reasons gardeners love to plant it. After planting it in the fall, there is not much you need to do before harvesting in the summer. As long as the plants get around 1” of water a week in the spring, you’ll have a healthy crop in the summer. You will also want to watch out for weeds that can sap your crop of much-needed nutrients.
You can store garlic for months
Not only is garlic easy to grow and maintain, but it also keeps for a long time. If you keep your garlic dry and store it in a dry space, you can keep it for months. A crop harvested in the summer will likely last throughout an entire winter season. If you use garlic in multiple meals a week, this is sure to cut down on trips to the grocery store and save you money in the long run.
Homegrown garlic is healthier
Most people know garlic’s health benefits, but it may be surprising to discover that homegrown garlic is healthier than what you can buy in the store. Garlic from your garden has higher levels of allicin. This compound is known to reduce the chance of developing certain kinds of cancer, lower blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Some studies also suggest that it’s beneficial for muscle recovery after a workout.
Garlic is versatile
Like other fast-growing vegetables and fruits you might have in your garden, garlic is incredibly versatile. It is easy to incorporate into meals of all varieties, and even the pickiest eaters enjoy its flavor. With a flourishing garlic crop of your own, there’s no reason not to add it to breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners throughout the year and liven up even the most basic meal.
Before you go
With the added health benefits and the satisfaction you can take from planting and harvesting the vegetable, it’s hard to beat homegrown garlic. If you were unsure about planting a garlic crop before, knowing how easy it is to grow, the little space it takes, and its low maintenance might inspire you to take the leap and plant a healthy batch of garlic this season.