Step-by-step: planting autumn garlic

Step-by-step: planting autumn garlic

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From the first cold, even if nature seems to be dormant, there are a few crops left to invite to the vegetable garden in preparation for the spring and summer harvests. Garlic called "autumn" is one of them. It is planted between October and January, as soon as the cold sets in. You can eat it green from May and dry from July. At a time when work in the vegetable garden has slowed down well, why deprive yourself of this culture so easy and so flavorful? Because the cultivation of garlic is indeed easy, its success depends on the respect of a few simple rules: choose the seed well, avoid humidity and do not make any contribution of compost or fertilizer. Garlic thrives in poor, well-drained soils, with the opposite conditions likely to cause it to rot. Note that garlic is a crop perfectly suited for balcony gardening: plant some cloves in a pot in autumn and you will have the pleasure of tasting fresh garlic in spring. Finely chopped, it is a delight in your salads, its flavor being less pronounced than that of dry garlic. Do not throw away the stems: they are also eaten, like chives, and form a delicious condiment! In garlic, everything is good! You can also leave it in the ground until it flowers to take advantage of its pretty pink pompoms made of a multitude of small flowers. Good and beautiful, garlic is also and above all is a precious health asset. Difficulty : easy Cost : that of the heads of garlic, about 5 € the sachet of 500 g of semen Tools required: - a grelinette or a fork - a serfouette (if you plant on a mound) - a cord (optional)

Step 1 - Choose your seed

Select your seed according to the criteria that matter to you. For autumn garlic, there are white and purple varieties, the violets being generally earlier. You can choose the criterion of your choice: earliness, yield, hardiness, whiteness, destination (green, semi-dry or dry) or quality of conformation. In terms of volume, we can expect to plant 6 to 8 meters from 500 g of seed.

Step 2 - Prepare the ground

Choose a plot in which there has been no cultivation of plants from the same family (i.e. onions, shallots and leeks) in the previous 2 to 3 years. It is the principle of crop rotation that limits the diseases and exhaustion of the soil that we observe when plants of the same family draw, for several years in a row, the food they need from a same floor.
Then prepare the ground. To do this, weed and aerate the soil, using a fork or a grelinette.

Step 3 - Draw the grooves

Crops are often more attractive when vegetables are planted in regular rows. For this, you can use a cord (a simple string stretched between two sticks will do the trick) or else use the handle of one of your tools as a guide: lay it in loose soil, press with your foot and turn is played!

Step 4 - Draw mounds (optional)

In the case of heavy soil and / or a humid region, it is welcome to plant garlic on a hill in order to promote water drainage. Use a dolly to model the mounds (5 to 10 cm high is more than enough) or shape them by hand.

Step 5 - Collect the cloves

Open the heads and collect the peripheral cloves: they are the best trained and the most productive. The small central cloves are not lost: you will use them in the kitchen.

Step 6 - Plant the cloves

Plant the cloves on the top of the mound, at the rate of one every 10 cm, by pressing them with your fingers to 3 cm deep. The upper part of the cloves should be flush with the surface.

Step 7 - Lightly tamp… and it's done!

Finally, tamp the soil lightly at the base of the bulbs. At this point, the work stops there. No need to water, quite the contrary, because garlic fears humidity. Between planting and harvesting, the only work will be regular hoeing to suppress weeds and break the earth crust around the bulbs.
Let grow until May (for green garlic) or July (for dry garlic). The magic is that of root vegetables: from a simple tuber (for the potato) or clove (for the garlic) planted, a new foot or a new head is born and then produces up to more than 10 times the starting "stake"!