People should start growing garlic in their garden instead of buying them. You’re sure to have more supply of garlic that is organic, freshly-picked, and the best part— free!
This beginner’s guide to growing garlic in raised beds covers everything you need to know for a bountiful harvest of this highly nutritious herbaceous vegetable.
Growing Garlic in Raised Beds | FAQs & Easy Steps
Why You Should Grow Your Own Garlic
Garlic is universally recognized as one of the healthiest and most essential crops in a vegetable garden. It is easy to grow and won’t take up much space in your yard.
But the best part about garlic is that it is truly an amazing superfood for its health-promoting benefits confirmed by modern science.
Some of the proven health benefits of garlic include the following:
- It can help combat common illnesses like colds and flu.
- It has the ability to improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of heart disease.
- It contains antioxidants and may help detoxify the body.
- It contains antiviral and antifungal properties.
- It is considered as a “natural antibiotic” and has the ability to combat bacteria that can cause infections.
Tip: Eating raw garlic has more significant benefits to our health than cooked–the reason why raw garlic is one of the most common ingredients for fresh salads and other healthy concoctions.
When Is the Best Time to Grow Garlic
The best time to plant garlic cloves is during the fall season, at least 8 weeks before the last frost or mid-autumn–when the soil temperature starts to cool off. Grow them in a sunny area that has a rich, well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.
Garlic, when properly planted, can withstand cold weather conditions of -30°F. However, you have to plan ahead of time when you’ll start growing garlic to avoid major failures.
If you plant garlic too early, it will produce too much tender top growth before winter. Planted too late, there will be insufficient time to produce good roots before winter, which means lower survival rates.
Planting garlic in the spring is still possible but not ideal because the plant has less time to grow which will result in smaller bulbs.
What Varieties of Garlic Will Grow Best
There are so many varieties of garlic to choose from such as brown tempest, Calabrian red, Georgian fire, German white, Applegate, Chesnok red, and more.
These varieties are divided into two main categories–the hardneck or top-setting hard-stemmed, and softneck or non-flowering soft-stemmed variety.
Hardneck garlic grows an edible flowering stem known as the garlic scape. It also has fewer cloves compared to softneck varieties. If you are growing garlic in Zones 3 to 10, hardneck varieties are the way to go!
Hardneck varieties include the Chesnok Red, Purple Stripe, Porcelain, German White, Persian Star, and Polish Hardneck.
Softneck garlic, on the other hand, can produce larger bulbs than that of hardnecks. Artichoke and silverskin are the two common types of softneck garlic.
What’s good about this garlic variety is they have a longer storage life of up to 9 months when stored properly. Softneck garlic grows best in Zones 5 to 10 where the climate is warmer.
Where Do Garlic Thrive the Most
As mentioned, garlic is easy to grow and will do well both in pots and in raised bed gardens. Both of these methods are efficient when done properly.
Container gardening for garlic can be tricky and needs a few things to consider such as evaporation rate, soil mixture, and heat conductivity. Raised bed gardening, on the other hand, provides more growing space and better drainage so you don’t have to worry about your crops being drowned during heavy rain.
Watch this video by MIgardener on planting fall garlic from start to finish:
I hope this guide covers your questions about growing garlic. Garlic is a staple in every household and one of the most nutritious vegetables to keep in your cupboard.
Fortunately, growing garlic requires minimal effort and garden space. Moreso, garlic plants rarely suffer from pests or diseases because of its distinctive smell.
Last year was a really good harvest for me and I want you to experience the same way. Plant garlic during the late fall through midwinter and have a steady supply of this powerhouse superfood all summer long!
Do you have tips in growing garlic in a raised bed garden? Let us know in the comments section below.
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