Garlic: How to Grow Organic Garlic and Reap the Amazing Benefits
The day my brother-in-law took a raw garlic clove, plopped it in his mouth, and chewed on it like it was a piece of gum, was the day my entire perspective on garlic changed.
While I knew garlic was good for you, I didn’t realize how good.
While we all know the amazing culinary addition that garlic has, we might be surprised by the medicinal properties. In fact, garlic has been used medicinally all over the world for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at garlic benefits and how to grow this amazing plant organically in your own home garden so that you can start planting today.
Benefits of Organic Garlic
I have always loved garlic. The taste is powerful. When used in cooking, it can turn any dish into a gourmet meal. However, eating garlic raw seemed to take this love to a whole new level. The reason my brother-in-law was eating garlic raw that day was because of the amazing medicinal properties that garlic possesses. He was fighting a cold at the time and he knew that eating garlic raw could help him fight the cold off organically.
Thankfully, we do not have to eat raw garlic to reap the amazing benefits. We still get many great benefits when we cook garlic or take it as a supplement.
Garlic contains a compound called Allicin. This is the property that holds most of the medicinal properties. This gives garlic an antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effect that impacts many different sicknesses. In addition, garlic can be effective for treatment of cuts and infected wounds.
A large 12-week study found that daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63%. In addition, the average length of cold symptoms was reduced by 70% from 5 days to 1.5 days.
The health benefits do not stop there. Garlic is known to lower heart disease, lower blood pressure, prevent Alzheimers and dementia, improve bone health, and contain many different nutrients. “Garlic is low in calories and very rich in vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. It also continues trace amounts of various other nutrients.”
Simply put, garlic is a superfood that has been proven to dramatically impact your health. The best part is that it can be easily grown in your own back yard. If you have not made it a part of your garden, now is a perfect time.
Benefits to Growing Your Own Organic Garlic
Not only are there amazing benefits to garlic, there are benefits to growing your own organic garlic at home. For example, organically grown garlic has a higher sulfur level which gives the plant a stronger medicinal effect according to Preparedness Momma.
In addition, growing your own organic garlic has a lot of financial value. Instead of having to buy it from the store, you will be able to harvest it from your own back yard. After the season has finished, you can re-plant your garlic for the following spring. There is no need to keep buying new bulbs.
Lastly, garlic is easy to grow and great for small spaces. Regardless if you are a new or seasoned gardener, growing organic garlic is a great choice.
When to Plant Garlic
The fall is best time to plant your garlic if you want the biggest bulbs. Wait for the first frost to pass and the soil is cool. You want to plant your garlic in well-drained beds. If you forgot to plant in the fall, you can plant in late winter. Plan to plant as soon as the soil thaws.
Types of Garlic
There are a few different types of garlic that you can grow in your garden. Check your climate to see which one will be the right choice for you.
- Softneck – This type of garlic is best grown where winters are mild up to Zone 5.
- Hardneck – This type of garlic can be growing in cold winter climates. They will produce delicious curled scrapes in early summer.
- Elephant Garlic – This type of garlic produces a mild-flavored bulb that are large in size.
When planting garlic, choose a sunny spot. Toil the soil to at least 12 inches deep. Mix in a 1-inch layer of mature compost. Once you are ready to plant, break the bulbs into cloves. Place the cloves into the ground 4 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart. Make sure the pointed end is facing up. Once the cloves are in the ground, cover them with 3 to 5 inches of organic mulch. You can use shredded leaves or hay as your mulch.
Once you have planted your garlic cloves, you can sit back, enjoy winter, and get ready for early summer to harvest. Look at the leaves that appear. About one-third of the leaves will be pale and withered when they are ready to be harvested.
Take a digging fork and delicately loosen the soil. You want to do this before you pull the plants out of the ground. Handling them with care will help to avoid bruising. After you have taken them from the ground, lay the whole plant out to dry.
Choose a sheltered spot that is protected from rain and direct sun, however, is still dry and warm. Leave your plants out to dry for 1 week. At that point, brush off the soil still on the bulbs and cut the roots to one-inch-long with pruning shears.
Plan to store your unbroken garlic bulbs up to three to four months. Once you have broken your garlic into cloves, you can store them from five to ten days. Garlic prefers to be stored in a cool, dark, and dry location. That means you will want to avoid storing next to the stove or the sink.
The incredible benefits of garlic make it a must to grow organically in your own home garden. The ease that it takes to grow makes it a great choice for any gardener. When you plant in the fall, you can expect to have this incredible super plant ready to help make you healthy and fight off a large range of aliments the following summer.