GARLIC CARE

For care tips on how to plant, tend and store your garlic.

Dynamite 3 281221.jpg

How do I care for and plant my garlic?
When you get your garlic plants home, make sure you pick an area that is in full sun for planting.
Give your garlic a good amount of compost or organic matter to help feed it for the next few months of growth.
Once you are ready to put it in the ground, dig a hole big enough to take the whole size of the pot. Plant the garlic about 6” apart, this will give them room to grow without inhibiting their size.
Remove the plant/s from the pot and place in the hole. Backfill the remainder of the hole with compost and pat in well.
Put a good layer of mulch around the main stem of the plant/s (up to around 3”-6” deep) and water it in well.
Check your garlic regularly for moisture, DON’T LET THEM DRY OUT! This will stunt the growth of your plants.
When your garlic is established, it will sit rather dormant throughout the winter period. Once spring starts to warm things up a bit, you will see the plant/s starting to grow. It is really important to feed your garlic. There are many different products out there to feed with, however, the best thing is to keep putting bits of compost or a really good quality plant food.
Even some Rooster booster or Dynamic lifter scattered around the base of the plant and watered in well will do the trick.
Keep them watered well during the Summer months and up to harvest.

How do I know when my garlic is ready to harvest?
A good thing to keep an eye out for is the flower spike of the garlic, or as we call it – The scape.
Not all garlic sends up a flower spike, or scape.
(You can cut off the scape and use it in your cooking, it gives a nice garlic flavouring to your meal)
If you do see the flower spike, this is a good indication that you are around 1 month away from harvesting your garlic.
If you do not see a scape, I recommend digging or brushing the soil away from around the bulb of the garlic. Don’t disturb the roots. Do this weekly. (Remember, garlic will increase it’s sizing greatly in the last few weeks of growth).
By doing this you will be able to see the sides of your garlic. You will notice the sides of the garlic will start getting “lumpy” . This means the cloves are starting to form inside the bulb and getting closer to harvest.
Your plant will start dying off as well. When you only have around 3-4 green leaves left on your plant/s, you are very close.

 

How do I dry or cure my garlic for eating?
You can use the garlic straight away, however, if you want it to last longer you will need it to dry out or cure it for longer.
The garlic is cured (this does vary) generally when the roots and the top of the plant has lost all its moisture. If you cut the roots and tops off prior to storage, it’s a bit harder to tell.
The outer skins of the bulbs will become very “paper like”.
Store them in a cool dry place preferably out of direct sunlight.
In a bowl or a storage bag is as good of a place as any.
This will ensure your garlic lasts for as long as possible.

How can i make my garlic last longer during the off season?
Great question!
Well, firstly i would work out how much garlic you really need to get you through a full off season.
So if you use 2 bulbs per week, and the off season works out to be around 5 months, you will need:

1 x 4 x 5 = 20 bulbs. Beginner

2 x 4 x 5 = 40 bulbs. Average garlic user

4 x 4 x 5 = 80 bulbs. Above average garlic user

7 x 4 x 5 = 140 bulbs. Serious garlic enthusiast

12 x 4 x 5 = 240 bulbs. A really serious cook who LOVES GARLIC!!
Ok, now you've worked out how much you need, order your Pinerock Garlic (in season of course!!) to keep you going. 40 bulbs = approximately 3 - 3.5 kg. Always order more, you know you'll use it!!

Next step is to either store it in a cool area out of direct sunlight.....OR.....peel it all and then work out how much you will use in your cooking each time. Now that single use plastic bags are banned, you can use a vaccuum sealer to store enough for 5 or 6 meals in, Or put it into some nice little tupperware containers, seal and put into your deep freezer. YES, that's right, in the freezer!! This will allow you to have garlic all year round. Please note that the garlic can go a bit mushy when you have pulled it out of the freezer, so, it's best to put it into your cooking while it is still frozen. All the flavour of the garlic will remain, just not the body.